This selection, chosen by Managing Editor Krista Cox, is from Daughters by Brittney Corrigan, released by Airlie Press in 2021.
When my mother tucks my hair behind my ears, it is not with absentminded affection but with precision, the careful hook of her finger efficient and swift. The body is not a neat array from the inside out. You have to learn where everything goes, how each organ puzzles into the hollows beneath our breakable bones. So she doesn’t insist that I tidy the field of stray clothing across my floor. It’s more about a working order. Can I find what I need and just go? Sometimes when she looks at me, I feel magnified, as if viewed through her surgical loupes, every neuron and synapse apparent and understood. But it’s not invasive. My very blood feels seen within her gaze. Each muscle, each node of flesh, is cradled by the attention of her eyes. The body is a cavity brimming with clockwork and mistakes. My mother’s hands, scalpel-less, tip my skull up by the chin. Every chamber of my heart allows her in.
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