“I don’t have to choose to be a walking display of his handiwork” jen cross
thread threaded, weaving around on my scalp, trolling around, feeling for the soft spot, the spot they can push in like on babies heads and mine is still there, they hope.
im on a mountainside, ive just climbed three and one half miles, up. and then there will be the return down. but for that one moment my breath slipped out of my pursed lips and had its own sigh of relief. air heavier there and whips around tired arms and legs. but soft. what is my body here?
i am a redrawn contour, you tracing over and over. once with eyes closed, then again with eyes open looking squarely at me then a third looking at it. im it.
what does it mean to live in this body? this body, so untrustworthy, i ride inside it, a silent passenger. i have a shape and i know it, ive seen it before in mirrors. the way i experience the lines drawn that arent mine, outside me, they become mine too.
ive worried about that, my body stripped of its own bodyness, lines on lines, reworked by scars familiar. one on top of two on top of three; layered and it's hard to pull back and peer through.
i see you. break you down into bites i can swallow. you are so much. all of the mores that you are i pushed away in days before. thinking back to years before and we are ten away from now. seven away from now. six years ago i broke in plain sight; for all to see. but you didnt.
i dont have to be a "walking display". that's true. and hearing that, i realized i hadn't noticed all the ways i put that handiwork to work. allowing the stitches to fuse into my skin and we cant see them now. are they not there now? laboring within it and for it, to keep me in the periphery, sticking stuck to years when i was first mapped.
but this choice. how much have i chosen? am i re-choosing with busy hands, the kind that sketch quickly, quietly? or do i keep my hands busy so i dont erase the lines?
your hands are new. are you taking the kind of risk required to find me, to erase that handiwork of all the hands before you? are your hands busy crafting different lines for me to wear?
eel legs pumped into jeans and a torn tee. one finger ringed, a neck heavy with gems. militaristic in the way i break my parts down, uniformed but always shape-shifting into new uniforms. or. what im trying to say isnt about what my body looks like, what it wears, how it moves and leaves and sometimes rocks when needing comfort. its not about what i look like, its about the way i find my body over and over. lose it to find it, it leaves and then it finds me and we are different then, we dont recognize the us from before and we are separate. we always have been. but how does that feel? lights on, lights off. this feels right, oh god. wrong all wrong and then im back to leaving, leaving theirs too.