Self Portrait with Whiteness
Put away your eyes
and look deep sea, baby
because black water
swims in your hair
strips off the mud
drinks up your blood
black lacquer ocean
coats us over
tucks us in
Tell me how everybody grew up in
swells of white,
and I’ll tell you a lie.
These fish grow on dark days
day after day
they don’t stop
don’t stop in the waves
to sleep to twist to sweat to fuck
Black swims in my stomach
jumps through my lips
crumples the scales
the skin on the tips of my hips
see, my bones fell away
see my spine dissolved? they called me “skeleton doll”
and during my autopsy
they tapped wet fingers on the holes
played me like an accordion
scrunch stretch ghost skin breaks sweats
did you know that part of me stayed on your white sheets?
Myra Greene: “B. J. and K. J., Canandaigua, NY”
The curve of your back is the most crippling curve I’ve ever seen.
It's the only one that I can’t map, can’t graph,
Can't pick the spines off your column.
See, it's not qualitative.
It’s raw and naked, So I unzipped your skin
And saw that the bubbles in your vertebrae
Were nestled close together, And they popped and crunched and worked
and weathered when you walked
across the tiles, and I watched you do the work
the force the distance The curve of your back rocked
and slouched and inched and tracked dirt in
to the kitchen, And I can’t say that I would love you
if it didn’t.
To you ripe with turns, did you know
that your neck curved your face away that day?
The curve of your neck
The curve of your thighs
The curve of your thoughts that are
pointing away from me.
Your rolls of leg skin flattened against the naked wood
Your legs just spread out away
from you bones like milk that spilled on its own And your
thighs turned red Turned red to match your face The way
it turned red When I asked do you think you know me?
The oscillation of your shoulders and your thighs
groaned against my sides
like the hinges on the door
that I wish you never opened.
See it creaked, but nobody oiled it.
Evi Shiakolas is a student at Boston University who is from Dallas, Texas. She is studying Biomedical Engineering but still hopes to pursue poetry throughout her life.