local_library I Can’t Talk About My Body Today

by Jessica Cordes

Published in Issue No. 292 ~ September, 2021

Please don’t


make me,

I’m tired


I understand:

We are



Born to dream


we are anyone else

but Barbie


doesn’t breathe

don’t you see


we are the weeds

wishing to trees


so big they brush

the sky.


And yes,

I squeezed


my face clean, squirted

the spotted mirror


last night.




soaked pillow


woke up alive.


Don’t tell me

about your belly,


I am heavy.

Healing is not


a meeting

it is a full-time job


When the new

boy told me


he loved my body,

I heard him loving


some part of me,

and I made it enough.


I went out without

makeup today


rubbed my




my hand,


flirted, crawled

to sleep


You tell me

we all want


what we do not have

and for once


I agree:


account_box More About

Jessica is an MFA candidate at the University of Alabama, and is an assistant poetry editor at New York Quarterly magazine. She was born and raised in Newburgh, New York, and recently moved to Tuscaloosa for school. In her free time, she enjoys doing yoga and weightlifting, cooking new foods, and reading outside in the sun.