I’ve pummeled, overfed, starved
and liquored you up. Squeezed you
into little black dresses, sent you off
in stiletto heels without bail money.
Made fun of you, cursed your
potbelly, saggy underarms, blamed
you for my brigity sense of self.

I confess, I spent most of my childhood
holed up in you, stuffing you with confections,
filling empty spaces labeled loneliness
and afraid, chubby fingers brushing
crumbs and tears. I’m still belly-flopping,
a box of Keebler Chocolate Chunks
stashed in the back of the cupboard.

Well done, hormones. I riled you
at every opportunity, clenched
and unclenched my fists, dredged up
mistakes and injustices in the middle
of the night, your hefty amalgamations
lighting me up, until one day
you about-faced, whipped my ass.

Oh, my heart. All those come-hither
man-boys siphoning you dry, your frazzled
chambers filled with flimflam and prattle.
When daddy died, I thought sure
you would quit me. When is the last time
we laughed so hard we cried?

Bone temple– crepe husked, cap-toothed,
cockled brow. Who was it said,
we can be anything we want to be?
I bend the knee: a pact, a truce,
a clink of glassware– a toast to tenacity,
our snort laughter, the overbite
of our jaw scraping our lower lip.

What are you looking for?