This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Jordi Alonso, is from Shade of Blue Trees by Kelly Cressio-Moeller, released by Two Sylvias Press in 2021.
content warning for dysphoria, body image and appearance
I am growing thick in the middle again, an avalanche over the waistband. Those pounds I strong-willed away, unwelcomed back into newly upholstered cells. A scale is unnecessary. Last summer’s clothes now grab my breasts and thighs with graceless but determined ardor. My corduroys brush and spark. Strict exceptions become the reckless rules. The last pastry or bread slice becomes a second or third. What am I trying to feed? How I green-eye marvel at those women who sit straight-backed and cross-legged in simple chairs, effortless as their unlabored breathing. My lumbering limbs wince and blush. Such slender tenderness my body has never known. Where to rest when your nest of skin feels cold as wintergreen dusk? I think of my parents riding under the weight of themselves, careening down demented diabetic roads, bread-crumbed days spent wiped and bathed as their bodies surrender to decades of excessive hunting and gathering. My sleep plays hopscotch, each night falling further from the last. I’ve lost count of the recurring dream where a black bear, rearing full height upon its hind legs, swings inadequate claws at a half-hearted moon. All through these nights of humorless stars, I hear bits of life cry out, each skating their separate darkness: a heron’s snapped wing, a loon’s lonely wail, my burdened bones.
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