Day 28: In My Natural State

On my body, there are hairs.

Some are light, white, feather-soft

hairs you probably won’t notice

(and in these new shorts,

I’m praying you won’t).

Others are darker, brown

with a hint of copper like cedar wood,

and they push up out of my skin

with a strength I envy.

No matter how often I hack them back,

pull blood from my skin with razors,

rip wax from my flesh,

let chemicals sear,

feel the elastic-band snap

of an at-home laser treatment,

they come back like stubborn vines,

proud and thick, certain of belonging.


There was a birthday I gifted myself

hundreds of dollars for a permanent quick fix,

to make my body acceptable before

I had to reveal it to anyone.

It didn’t work.

The weekends I spent contorting my body,

pulling muscles in my shoulder and back,

watching red run down my legs.

It didn’t work.

After school with tweezers

till my fingers went numb,

rejoicing at the soreness of open skin.

A friend of mine said that meant

they wouldn’t grow back.

It didn’t work.


I was so scared.

Now I’m just tired,

tired of playing this game

invented by white men in expensive suits,

a game that never made me feel good,

just reminded me I was constantly

at war with my body.

And told me that was a natural state.




P.S. If you like, check out my Etsy store and support The Humane League!


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