Ani Keaten

Pinpricks (Cliterature Journal)

My poem “Pinpricks” about body changes and relationship dynamics was originally published in Cliterature Journal in December 2019. They have unfortunately closed their doors. This poem is reprinted here.


You say you'll miss them,
these girls, their sagging bounce,
when I lose all the weight that
squeezes me so tight I can't
take in enough air for a heaving
bosom. You say you'll miss these,
what barely pass for breasts
when I look in the mirror. The
stretch marks on my hips say I am
mature, but these barely feel the
pull of gravity for a supple cup.
You say you’ll miss these anchors
preventing me from dance, and
if I jump high enough—flight.
One day these molehills will be
sacks of sand I tie to my waist,
tuck under my belt. You say you'll
miss the shred of femininity I never
held dear, never possessed in the
v of my pelvis or shake of my thigh
or the way a small line has formed
across my abdomen that reminds
me I am large. My proportions are
unbalanced with fat, tipping me over
and pointing me out for strangers
to measure my will. You say you'll
miss this willendorfian version of
me that I don't recognize, ballooning
up in front of me, a stranger in
my reflection whom I despise. A
person who looks like she is full
and nurturing, generous, fertile
and benevolent with her sex.
You will miss these lopsided ladies
I only hope to suppress, so that
slender bones escape through
fingers and elbows, shoulder
blades and intimate places of
napes and crooks and collars. You
will miss what used to be round,
what will shrivel down to two pin-
pricks that defy and mock every
effort to push, tug and prop them
up so they will perform as plump
dumplings, until the layers are
peeled off and reveal that they are