• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 12

Life Class

I am reminded of the day in the biology room
when the teacher told the girls
go home, take a mirror, open our legs
and take a good long look

‘Your body is beautiful’ she said
“learn to love every part of it’.
Years pass, and here I sit, legs akimbo
(like my Nan always told me not to do)

while all around, on pedestals or
looking down from whitewashed walls,
marble-fleshed goddesses
bare all, take flight, submit.

Not me — I’m all high kicks and tattoos
a face, a heart, a name inked in places
that are just for me to see
look if you must, but know I own

all this: my awkward limbs
my unyielding skin, every part of me.