Beatrice Stewart

My body makes snot instead of dopamine
so I blow my nose and eat ice cream,
cook myself soup.

When I was eight and had the stomach flu,
my father heated up chicken broth
and the warm mug in my hands felt like
it could be his touch.

When I was fifteen the intake team
asked me if I’d ever attempted and I said yes
because once I plugged in a kettle when my hands were wet
and right in the instant before, I thought
“Maybe I’ll be electrocuted and die”
and I was content.
I don’t know what you’d call that

but I was in a plane and there was wild turbulence
and I found myself well-prepared to die.
I thought, they’ll build a railroad in my honor.
Even in the face of death, I lied.

Besides wearing my Grandpa’s old shirts,
I can’t do much.
Five days ago he died.

Now when I’m alone in an elevator,
or walking on an empty street,
there’s a sound that comes out from between my teeth
like the bray of a wounded whale.

My duty is to devise a look that’s beautiful but modest,
to toe the line between vanity and self-respect.
For my perusal, my mother brings an old black dress.

Beatrice Stewart is a third year Poetry major and Music Technology minor. They like writing, music, tarot, and their cat Babooshka.