My Body is Somebody

By 
Ashwini Bhasi

—not part of me. She makes up games
like Quidditch and plays with me.
Body throws me down

on the playground and laughs
with them who laugh at me.
My body is a gaping hole

that swallows things whole,
she never uses teeth to chew food,
but chews on me. Body and I, we run

marathons together, but we always
stay on separate lanes. When we finish last,
body laughs her ass off. Body keeps

making jokes I cannot understand.
Example: you and me—we are a cream cookie,
so filthy and clean simultaneously.

Body decides when I can:
            (a) zoom like a hummingbird
            (b) run like an elephant
            (c) stomp like a rhino
            (d) move like an anaconda

and she invariably chooses (d)! Body tells me
good girls don’t cum easy, she makes a cage
out of ribs, keeps my breath and breasts small.

Body never feeds me but she needs to be fed
             continuously—cookie |
kulfi | popcorn | cake |
             samosa | rasmalai |
dosa | idli | pizza |
             rice | rice | rice
with dal | more rice and ghee
—then claims she’s still empty.

Sometimes at night, body talks to me
differently. She says she wants
to be a part of me, but I cannot listen

to her mocking nonsense!
Like at 3 a.m. yesterday,
when she woke me up

with her limbs stuck
mid-spasm and bones grinding
the pain down into sizable portions

—she was crying. Even with her belly
distended with chips, beer
and fear, she was trying—

to hold onto me. But when I slipped
out of her sweaty heat, body joked
into the distance between us:

Hey, do you know
why we slither, not swim? We ate
our own legs to be slim.

You’re a bludger,
I am a beater.
You’re a seeker,

I am a snitch.
C’mon bitch, let’s stop
fighting like this.

Body then laughed
at my silence, pulled
herself out of bed,

crawled to the refrigerator,
and swallowed—
more cake.

Ashwini Bhasi lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan where she analyzes DNA sequences for disease-causing mutations. Her poetry has appeared in Rogue Agent, Yellow Chair Review, The Feminist Wire, and Driftwood Press, among others. She was recently nominated for a Pushcart prize.

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    In this issue:

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