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My Body

by K. Fleig

I tried to disown my body. 

It wasn’t the one I wanted. 

I worked it too hard,

dressed it in whatever came my way, 

and fed it junk. 

But while bowing at the end of my yoga class, 

hands in prayer

acknowledging the liquid crystal display people,

I noticed my legs. 

Thighs above knees,

more leg above feet, 

 

and I recognized them. 

 

These are the same legs that 

walked when I didn’t have money to ride,  

stood for hours while I served coffee and food and drink, 

were groped during a doctor’s visit, 

and spread when I chose to

 

or when I was too young to challenge.

 

These are the same feet that, for a few dollars, posed for my roommate’s class and squeezed into too tight shoes to 

“look pretty.” 

 

This is the same body that long ago 

ran across grass, delighted by wind, 

rolled down hills, picking up speed in a dizzying rush of joy 

and swung way way high to the sky  

 

only to be beaten and shaken like a rag doll. 

 

This is the body that protected me 

from men who threatened, 

and some said “so late” incubated and gave life to humans. 

How do I dare to  

angrily pinch my fat, 

wish away my wrinkles, 

or threaten my grey hairs with a bottle of dye? 

Broken-cut-stitched together-bruised-stretched 

suctioned-drilled-and drained,

my body brought me to where I stand now,

staring into the void of uncountable pixels. 

This body 

 

my body 

 

is 

 

defiantly

 

still  

 

here.