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My Body A Flock / Shame

By 

Caitlin Thomson / Samantha Irene

A fight of muscle.

A party of fat.

A gathering of hair.

A chunk of chin.

A gang of ribs.

A pair of eyes.

A trembling of knees.

An atlas of skin.

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I stopped performing because I hated the way my body was always on trial.

Acting is letting go,

and I just can't unstick my soul from my ribs.

I can't breathe deep enough to keep from sucking in my gut.

My mother will say it's a shame, and she will be right.

It's a shame no one can see

how the lines on my face tell a story

I'll never be able to pen in full -

how the bulge in my stomach

is filled with organs that keep me alive -

how the scars on my knees are childhood memories

of summers racing my brothers up and down our block.

It's a shame I should feel the need

to explain away any of this

when women are already asked to explain away enough

down to our very existence.

It's a shame because standing on a stage letting go

is probably the closest I'll ever come to salvation,

and it is a shame

because I know all this

and knowing doesn't change a thing,

except to keep you up at night, asking,

"What have they done to us?

What have we done to ourselves?"

Quiz question:

Which of these was not in your body?

A pair of eyes.

A pair of eyes.

A trembling of knees.

A trembling of knees.

An atlas of skin.

An atlas of skin.

A hoard of hearts

A hoard of hearts

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Issue 7

published 

September 22, 2017

My Body A Flock was written by Caitlin Thomson, who is the co-founder of The Poetry Marathon, a yearly event that challenges participants to write 24 poems in 24 hours. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals including: Eleven Eleven, Tar River Poetry Review, The Adroit Journal, and Killer Verse. You can learn more about her writing at www.caitlinthomson.com.

Shame was written by Samantha Irene.

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Issue 7

This writing was originally published in Opium Magazine, and is not listed in the Lit.cat archives.
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