APHRODITE, I SHOULD HAVE THANKED YOU—
I should have thanked you rather than taking
the kitchen scissors to the pudge of my belly
in attempt to cut off the parts of me I hated—
instead of breaking apart the Bic razor
meant for shaving and slicing
it into my inner thighs.
I should have thanked you before committing
hate crimes against my own body—the body
you created for me, instead of hiding it behind
my father’s baggy t-shirts, cowering before
earth’s eyes. I should have thanked you as I looked
at myself in the bathroom mirror each morning.
Forgive me, Venus, I plead, and I imagine
her reply: Stupid girl, I created you—
you should know better than to scold
the mold I sculpted for you. I know
I’m a fool, and every mirror is a reminder
of the constant disappoint in myself.
I watch my reflection, Venus looming above.
Sloped shoulders transition to soft breasts
atop wide torso, plump tummy, purposeful hips dip
down where thighs begin, curving into strong calves.
She formed my body for me—building me in her
image, franken-esque—beautiful in its own right.
I slouch too much, giving me constant back pain,
a distorted mental image of my body, and a misshapen
opinion of self. My hands are not dainty in the slightest,
those of a worker—a writer. My ring finger and the pit
of my thumb are calloused from where my pen rests;
I write about myself as a reminder
A reminder that I am built like Venus,
soft and strong, and she knows I worship her image,
attempting to admire my body as if it is her own—
a portrait of beauty rebirthed each morning
as I unravel myself from the warm duvet
like a shell finally reaching the sand on the shore.