linette reeman


before surgery, i found a body pre-patchwork
that look[ed] like mine does[did] and hung their
post-op scar across my phone screen like look here
listen kid you’re going to come out from
under the knife fine i know it feels
impossible but i swear you’re
gonna be even softer


if you’ve ever Googled any strange body-problem
perhaps you’ve already seen me naked:

girl with chest hair / girl with a spine like a noose /
not-girl with a chest carved in blood / once before
i was old enough to know how much my parts weighed
partitioned amongst bidding mouths my mother and i
flew to Chicago and there a doctor wrote my spine in his
machine and voila, somewhere i am a faceless foot-
note / girl whose skin hives anywhere she is touched /
not-girl whose partner writes a love-note in the welts /
not-girl nightmares of prosthetic breasts / perhaps

the body in the phone was a mirror and
the scars just where a seatbelt gripped
and the body just a doctor’s
playground theory


i have Googled my own surgery even after healing
/ compared the best bought medicine / the scars that
do not buoy mouths away / a million small mirrors
pooled alive in my hands / on Youtube, a boy cries
the first time the ocean doesn’t spray fists / on Tumblr,
another not-girl photographs their partner’s hands

applying lotion / on Twitter, a hashtag for each stitch
swallowed back into the skin / in my bathroom /
or, in a friend’s bathroom / or, in my job’s bathroom
/ or, in the coffeeshop’s single-stall, i argue with

my mangled top-
          ography / wear too many shirts /
pull my skin tighter / lord knows i’ve lost so much
of it to science already / lord knows i just wanted
to undress without lying