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Body Of

ISSUE:  Summer 2020


My mother, teaching me how to protect my body: 
“When a man touches you here, yell I am a body
that will bear a child.” How was I,
a child, to understand that as the sanctity
of my body. How was I to know to say, 
the body without that potential is also whole 
and holy. A man who touches a child 
does not care whether she will one day be 
fertile. A dear friend, on making the body 
useful, encourages me to have 
babies. What does it mean to say I have 
my body. I have a brain, you know, I have 
a life, a heart, I’ve said before, but I meant 
only mine, without knowing there were
outlines of other bodies fleshing in my center, 
being the body of woman, for whom, 
body means collective. As it is for the body
of evidence. Of knowledge. Here I present my body
of work. My body of water. Here, my body, 
body. But we, are we? Of our bodies? We of this 
nation? This body of land? Bodies are thrown
across oceans, across lands. Bodies lie 
bleeding through the evidence of bullets. Honest 
bodies bleeding honestly. In order to continue living,
we try to leave evidence of our lives. We accumulate
bodies in whatever way we can. Men leave 
themselves in women’s bodies. Friends, I am just now
ready to love my own. I love 
my father’s eyebrows on my face and I love 
my mother’s calves on my legs and I love
the parts of my body that I do not name. Let 
that be enough. The future of this land is uncertain
in how high the flames, the waters, will be.
This land in which I give up something 
every day. This land in which I still 
bleed and bleed.



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