I am long limbed with a short torso. My waist is thin, but hidden beneath layers of flesh. My hips spread and stomach swells. I am unconcerned with erasing my figure through sartorial choices. I am unafraid of fat. I choose shoes from which it appears impossible to extricate my feet. A part was missing.
When I was twenty-one, I paid a man several euros to pierce a hole in my nose through which he placed a ring.
Through the skin on my wrists and legs, you can see blue veins, like rivers in cartography. Sometimes capillaries on my face and breasts burst, leaving spidered stars.
In ten years I have gotten seven tattoos. I enjoy decorating my pale skin. So much space empty of resonance. I want to imprint my flesh. Make something beautiful from the body that has betrayed me.
As a child, my father rejoiced in encircling my waist with his hands. It is monstrous, he surmised, the way women’s bodies change.
Every month I chart how the moon waxes and wanes. The tip of a fingernail dug into the sky could tarnish sanity, change reflections, freeze my blood.
To look at me, you wouldn’t know I was broken.
I slipped from the womb malformed. The doctor tried to repair my fragile tendons, unsuccessfully. My limbs limp and torn. My ankles spayed, detached and strange.
An impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations. Thus disability is a complex phenomenon, reflecting an interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which she lives.
Hiking up the mountain, you wanted me to join you. You do not believe what is invisible to the eye. You see all failures as flaws. Many misread correlation as causality.
They sewed up my skin which I covered with tattoos. You cannot see the scars.
I honor my breaks. The ease with which I fracture and fall. I am no longer married to my diagnosis.