I.             Muffin top.

She is trying to learn to love

her muffin top the way

she loves endless free breadsticks at Olive Garden.

She figures a little something extra

is usually a good thing, when it comes to dinner deals and

guac at Chipotle, and so she is trying to learn to love

her muffin top the way

a baker loves their bread, kneading that soft, sticky

loaf with their bare hands, pounding that dough

with passion, the bread rising and

swelling with the yeast

under the red-hot heat

of the oven’s love.

She is trying to learn to love

her muffin top, as if

it were holy bread, as if it were the substance of life

and love itself, as if it could feed her

on her heart-hungry days, as if it too

could offer her salvation.

II.            Shoulders.

She has come to love her shoulders   

which she once resented, for their broadness,

for that expansive plain of angled collarbone, long and wide

like the ivory temples of Grecian cities, connected to

those twin pillars of her shoulders, holding steadfast

the gate of her ribcage, the imperfect architecture

of her body.

Yes, she has come to love her shoulders, these

power-suit, superhero shoulders, perfect for

backpacking and v-neck t-shirts,

boss-ass blazers and the 1980s, these

strong, broad, lifetime guarantee shoulders - oh yes,

these shoulders were built to last.


III.           Wrists.

She has always loved her wrists,

thin and browned, even as a child,

playing architect in the golden shining eye

of the bright Hawaiian sun, fists sunk deep into

the hot grit of the white and black

and red Hawaiian sand.

She has always loved her wrists,

the way they twist and bend, mechanical

girl in the ballerina music box. She still remembers

the first time she showed her parents, how they stood

horrified, with their mouths hung like damp open caves,

like pale dead fish, wild-eyed and agape -

4 fingers and 1 thumb outstretched, making

a fan in the beige bristles of the carpet,

left to right, full 360.

She loves how it shocks

even the boys at school when she shows them

her little party trick, smirking devilishly to herself

as she shrugs her shoulders. Maybe she will join

a circus, bright face paint sweltering

in the sticky lemon spotlight.

bodies and their parts, a sequence

Aubrey Wagg

Aubrey Wagg is an English major and Cinema studies minor in her senior year at Northern Arizona University. She works as a peer instructor for English 107 program and volunteer with The Literacy Center in Flagstaff. She is passionate about the art of storytelling and the ways in which the written word can function not only to educate, but to bring about positive change in our social, cultural, and political worlds. When she is not reading, writing, teaching, or watching films, she enjoys spending time in the great outdoors, listening to podcasts, and traveling as much as she can.
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