Evi Shiakolas

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
that’s
pulled tight

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
Slowly
                                        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
                                        more
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.