Calling Ourselves Home

I was sitting in a room full of men. Okay, this isn’t that rare, but I was taken aback at how uneasy I felt in the moment. In between some semi-offensive comments made by one man, and other talk that I couldn’t participate in, I realized that I had shrunk–I began taking up less and…

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On the subject of love, legs, and femininity.

Hairy kneecaps. The first time my body became “my body”—a thing separate from me—was at 6thgrade lunch period when Hannah Wiessgarber informed me Paul Ferris would never date me because I had hairy kneecaps. She’d asked him about me, and his answer, given in the presence of the other 7thgrade boys, had been, according to…

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This is my body…

These words sound otherworldly, carrying the sense of the sacred. Many of us were raised in traditions which include the eucharist, or communion.  Some folks enter that space every month, some every week.  For some, it is a shared table, some approach one by one, some wait for a plate to be passed,  others wait…

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Betrayed By My Body

Since I was sixteen years old, I have felt betrayed by my body. Most of the battles I have fought with my body have been underneath my own skin. Potent diagnoses, mostly invisible to strangers, acquaintances, and loved ones alike. 

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The Arms of Safety

The arms of my oversized chocolate brown chair hold my tired body as I bring the face of my discontented daughter towards me. Her quivering lips latch on and her squawks slow to a grave whimper as she suckles the milk from my breast with a sweet hum of contentment. Oxytocin forges through my body…

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To Agnes, the Patron Saint of Women’s Hair

When the Securitate would enter our house, my sister and I would hide in the bathroom, the one where the tile and commode and even the porcelain tub was pink, and tell each other stories. There was the story of the gypsies who kidnapped fair-headed children like ourselves, cut off a hand or foot, then…

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War and Peace In My Body

I stared at the number on the scale, then stepped off quickly so it would disappear before my husband made his way into the room. How could I have let it get this bad?  I began to run the numbers in my head, each one a new accusation. I was scarily close to my self-defined…

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“You Got This.”

I was stepping up on a bench while holding a very large blue and white bowl. It “lives” on top of a corner cupboard in the spring until Thanksgiving. As I stepped up on the stool, I found myself unable to get my other leg on the stool while holding this heavy bowl. “That’s odd,”…

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Jab, Cross, Hook

The smell of dust and sweat and leather fills the room. Punching bags hang in precise rows, immovable in the presence of industrial fans and re-mixed 90s hip hop. “I’m gonna knock you out; Momma said knock you out!” I slowly wrap my hands and wrists, weaving the fabric between each finger, stabilizing each moving part…

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Thawing Love

By March, the worst of the winter would be over. The snow would thaw, the rivers begin to run and the world would wake itself again.  -Neil Gaiman I feel a piercing pain in my chest as I talk with my friend Libby about the inevitability of weaning my daughter Charlotte. My body begins to…

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