Our Portal to the World
We’re just a glob of cells, blood, chemicals and energy grounded by gravity on a train heading south toward 95th.
So why do we care about the size of our breasts or bellies?
The curve of our thighs in our summer dresses,
the hair peeking out from our flesh, hiding bodies that may offend or entice someone.
Either way, we lose.
Either way, we feel the need to protect our “power.”
It’s a power you can’t exert so you label it a fault, trying to
reclaim some sort of dominance, regulating its bounties, stabbing into our
warmth, divinity, love, strength—Our portal to the world that we control; you
just spread your seed, while we nurture it into a garden.
I keep wearing your shirt to bed.
I want your smell to sink into my skin forever.
It smells like my birth and strawberry milk so thick it feels like you’re swallowing fog.
Your shirt feels like your skin—soft and clean like freshly washed petals of lavender bouquets you buy at the farmers market on Saturday mornings.
When I sleep in your shirt I feel I’m sleeping next to you,
the way you wake up in a panic,
reaching for my foot, back, a clump of my curls dusted on a pillow—whatever you can feel that signifies these bundles of cells that came from your cells,
ones I now call mine still exist.
Still breathe. Still think and dance and cry and laugh.
So I keep wearing your shirt to bed,
not wanting to lose the smell of
the woman who gave me life.
A Mosaic Mess
Am I a shell of a person? Do I live in a protective force of colors on top of my back, weighing me down? Maybe I collect these broken pieces, shared memories, and try to fit them together like an imperfect mosaic. Maybe this person that I say “I am” and project to the world through tiny waves of electricity is just another shell. I sometimes allow foreign pieces that make me uncomfortable, ones that will eventually fall off. I wait in my cold shell for the morning when I’ll wake up and my inner movement will cause a mosaic disaster, chaos. The epicenter will shake and a beautifully microscopic crack will zig-zag down and down. My shells will come together in pieces. The pieces that don’t belong to me will be whispered into the wind and land onto the shells they belong to. I will be naked but not cold—not hollow. There will be a warm light that only greets me in my dreams or when I think about running barefoot chasing the little boy down the street that I used to love. Until then, I work each day on my movement to cause a crack and create a pile of mosaics that are truly perfect to me.
Author: Christian Ianniello
Author Bio: Christian Ianniello has been published in Adolescent, CUSP, and The DePaulia. She seeks to empower women with her words, whether it’s copywriting for the “She Did it Her Way” podcast or posting Instagram stories of “Books and Babes” on her poetry Instagram, @sirenssoliloquy — where she reviews books written by marginalized authors and shares information about women who inspire her.
Link to social media or website: Instagram @sirenssoliloquy