This selection, chosen by guest curator Addie Tsai, is from Look Alive by Luiza Flynn-Goodlett, released by Southeast Missouri State University Press in 2021.
Before the Body
We weren’t yet homely—no one had noted
if baby fat melted off or took up residence,
whether we’d grown into our noses. Calves,
regardless of shapeliness, propelled us into
chlorinated depths. Only later did skin begin
to cling like a damp suit we had to claw off.
Then, we learned to favor the deck chair
rotisserie—book artfully open, slats slicing
into our backs. And forgot the deep end—
how we’d hold our breath and float above
the drain, gaze up at the distorted world.
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