-- a partial excerpt from (This Fucking Body Is) Never Yours, forthcoming in 2017 from Gazing Grain Press
When I was a girl a boy touched me in such a way that I knew wasn't right. But in another way -- perhaps the only way that matters -- his grabbing me was but a fleshy instance of a thousand other snatches.
Before I knew I was sexual, I knew there was something sexual in everybody else. It would come out of them when they looked at me. Before I took physics I knew the ways of being violated without a single touch. I didn’t know I’d need to claim my own flesh until it had already been marked by others.
I started taking the bus when I was twelve or thirteen. That was probably when I began to look away from people. I went from staring right into their eyes to always looking away, looking down, looking not at the eyes looking at me. Pretending I didn’t understand when they were asking me how I was doing that day. Who I was. What was my name. Where was I going. How was I getting there.
Would I like
to get there
Our bodies are memories and stories retold. I can call myself beautiful, I can run my hands down my flesh and call it mine. But so has someone else.
I don't always feel like making the effort to remember and remind.
Over fifty pairs of lips have been on my breasts and I have enjoyed none of it. Fifty times I have thought to myself "this will be over soon." Fifty times I have thought to myself, "This feels so disgusting." Fifty times I have thought to myself "I am so cold." All while another person is with me, usually in various stages of undress if not naked. All while another person is inches away from me and I feel miles away. Its clichéd but it’s true. In my most intimate moments I have traveled the world. In my most intimate moments I have made shopping lists. In my most intimate moments I have begun essays and dissertations. In my most sexually intimate moments I am as far away from my body as possible.
just some things usually on my mind....