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Bei Jie Si


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.


But now

i want it.

and he gives it to me

tells me to say                   thank you

i do

i do

i do.


This is the nature of healing:

a constant adaptation

a body that never stops      screaming   //   singing

in response.

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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