It’s how nothing happened. How my talentless body
macerated my rapturous mind in the pickle of wanting.
It’s my try at the talent show and I find it broken
in its cardboard envelope. I did the ballet routine
sans Vivaldi, girl-body ignoring the pan-
orama of others’ gazes. The voice that mocked: what is she doing?
Feeling shame for my untalented chubby body.
No one has a spur for you. You earn the spurn.
You learn to fake it, burn for weeks,
cool off in the shower, burn again.
I learned to fake it. I served you well.
What to do with verbs? Don’t ask a bittern scribe.
(There are things I’ve stolen, they are words.
I write them here, my effort to return
them to their rightful owners.)
If the body holds weight, refuses tears, a child will chew
paper. I did, did you? I shuckled. I masturbated. All you need
to say is: it is good. Isn’t it good?
I predicated injury, incest, suicide.
Some of which happened. Three meals a day,
trays of white food, some sort of dress rehearsal.
The time he called me a lousy lay.
And ideas: parallel play. But what do I know:
kicked out of high school, pregnant with my abortion.
The senses (read feelings) diminish with age.
I rehearse until there is no one left to unfold.
What will carry my poems?
Bodies break. The height lost to kyphosis.
Now I go for shoes. My flouncy hair.
Earrings, glasses. Shades of orange.
To hide my fat.
I held such hope for love, never prizing
my vital talent to do without it.
No more touch. This is not a tease, it’s a warning.
Volta, turn, torsion, torque, twist. A shift, a pivot.
Saving grace for after the meal. The pirouette.