(with thanks to jayy dodd for the prompt)
1. To my breasts: You were the offering, the slaughtered calf, the V-neck password, the proof the world needed that I was, in fact, a girl. With my mother’s history of breast cancer, I know that one day you might be cut away from me, and maybe that’s why I never took the time to really love you, not in the dark, by heart, with only my own hands to frame you. I’m sorry.
2. To my heart: I hated how your hunger drove me off the road every time. How the worst pain I’ve ever felt was in you, the splintering core, an ache so bright I could read by its glow and see my name signed after every shatter: yes, i did this, loved the wrong person again and again, saw my own wicked shining and watched the fear tear open, a bursting cloud of spiders, a knife made of fingernails, a hand muffling your siren as i lay in bed watching the noise spill under the doorframe. I’m sorry.
3. To my brain: When you said, “everyone hates you, you’ll never be enough for them, you’ll end up alone, you should die,” I should have known what a ventriloquist depression can be. Or is, because the truth is I still think all of that, only on good days I’m able to translate it to mean, “I’m sick, please take care of me.” When the anxiety crawls up my throat and drowns my language in its own flavor, I try to taste it for what it is. It isn’t your fault for catching the virus born into this body. Every day we survive together is its own kind of miracle.
4. To my nose: Jew beak. Witch snout. My mother says it’s anti-Semitic to say that I look Jewish, but then how does everyone know by looking at me? “Jews suck,” says the girl next to me in my 6th grade social studies class. She glares at my nose and all the kids laugh. I think the teacher will correct her, but instead he says, “Everyone’s entitled to their opinion,” and slams the textbook closed.