If We’re Playing Battleship, You’re Sunk

by Sophia Kumin (’13)

I know it scares you
to think about
my hands touching
the places on my body
that you’ve condemned
I’ll map out a smile
from belly button to breasts.

you say you can bench 120
so I should lose ten pounds
but if weight were measured
in words without meaning
you’d be sinking to the bottom
of your ocean of discrepancies.

I don’t answer to you or
your 3 AM phone calls
“baby, I want you back”
baby, you want my back
arched in your bed

and saying
“I love you”
but you can’t tell the difference
between my birthmarks and anyone else’s
it’s not me you want it’s
everything you couldn’t have
when you had me.

harbor hate in my hips
the same ones you squeezed
like a stress ball
don’t use me
with the same hands you use
to touch yourself
over pictures of people
with perceived perfection.

I want you to know
you don’t hurt me
when you look at
my arms and my waist and my legs
and snarl
because they’re stronger
than anything you could say.

I know it scares you to think about
me loving the places on my body
that you marked with x’s in your eyes
why don’t you follow my fingers
forming a
fuck you.

You feel like
never solid, you still want to be noticed
and the less we pay attention
the more you disappear
clinging to the cement
we blow from
cracked lips,
broken skin from all the
salty words we spit at you
when you said we’d
never be enough

but you can’t push me over
when you’re too busy
concentrating on the little things
instead of the sum of my parts
the part of me
that could easily
swing my fist back like a gavel
on your twisted expression

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury
this man is guilty as charged of
of your mother and your daughter
and the people in between,
knock-kneed and shivering
in front of him.

I’m done with
I’m not as good as
I could be without you
and we both know
you can’t deal with
how it was
that never lived up
to any expectations
that looks in the mirror and wants to see
someone better than what you turned out to be.

Read more poetry.

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