by Sara Ryan
the ability to stay entirely untouched.
unscavenged. unhaunted by the other
bodies inside your own. once, pavement,
split me right down the middle. I learned
my blood and its spread. the lengths
my skin went to in its healing. the way I lost
and lost and came back—bright. pink. new.
when men tell me what to think of my body,
I pull my bones around me like a slick jacket
of white. harder this way. rigid and resistant.
ready for rocks. there are mechanics to this
method. to becoming a shell and staying soft
underneath. there’s failure, too. in the scales
I develop in direct sunlight. in the cracks
that let the light in. the superglue that won’t hold
me. the doctor told me I will never grow taller
and I said, that’s fine, people always see me
as taller than I am. I am elastic energy.
when you’re not looking, I am a swarm of locusts.
when you touch me, it sounds like thunder.