when i was 10 years old,

my friends and i would play a game

as we waited in the cafeteria line for lunch.

curving the length


of our fingers into a cul-de-sac, we, hooking

them to our waists, would ration

our fat. the bones in our pointer and thumb

were solid enough to become our human tape


measure, serrated

with an accuracy that only flesh

to flesh contact could swallow.

under the fluorescents, we understood


that whatever fell inside

our translucent flap of skin was


everything else was aberrant.


it had to be notched inside a pair of jeans,

sawed into oversized sweaters –

cutlets of me were not allowed

to exist.


my body has done nothing else besides

allow me to fold into myself and be soft

when my exoskeleton cracks . . .

but even now,


my fingernails still can’t help but slice

into my hipsneckchinthighs.

i am a butcher carrying their own shop

but i can never sell my meat,


and am instead left to rot.