ISSUE ELEVEN | FALL 2018
Every time i bruise
i discover a galaxy:
thinly veiled blood,
a nebula spreading
beneath my skin.
He bends me over the side of the bed
says my body
is so much like fruit: sweet flesh // bitter rind.
He takes a bite and i am
raw and open,
seeds // stars spilling from the wound.
How strange it is now to ask for this
to beg for this
to look into the face of pain
and welcome it.
My body has always been seasoned with ache
but we make a mockery of all the hurt my nerves have ever known.
Please please please:
make me a constellation,
each star- the clinging past,
a stinging imprint of a hand // belt.
The pleasure is in the asking.
Without it, i am light-years away from myself.
It is what makes me ripe // bright
instead of a famine // void.
When i say please
i am not asking for a new sensation.
My body already knows how to writhe
under an unwanted scalpel // hand.
i want it.
and he gives it to me
tells me to say thank you
This is the nature of healing:
a constant adaptation
a body that never stops screaming // singing
A bruise is nothing but blood
pleading escape // freedom.
He watches my heavenly body bloom
pink // purple // blue
presses me into pulp between his fingers
hair-pulling // choking // biting
and harvests the light dripping from each curve
his wet mouth // my wet mouth // the wet i hide.
My body has always been dead // still.
What i am saying is
i have never moved like this.
i ask to be tied.
Root me to this earth-
split the dirt and show me what grows here,
show me a place where
i can choose pain and it does not destroy me.
This is a lesson in geography.
Others have charted their own maps:
their drawings show rotting // emptiness
their records show disability // victim
But like any good teacher
he does not claim knowledge.
He only shows me my body is capable of a gorgeous quivering:
fruit aware of its own flourishing
a world aware of its own fault lines
a universe aware of its own pulsing.
Bei Jie Si has been published in Vinyl, Kweli, Bird's Thumb, Monstering Magazine, and Apricity Magazine. She is the co-president of Spitshine poetry, the University of Texas's premier poetry organization, has competed on the Spitshine CUPSI team from 2015-2017, and coached the 2018 Spitshine CUPSI team. She spends her time writing, singing, and drawing.
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