Poetry: This is the body that is rarely seen

Colour photograph of a person's tummy with a navel piercing and dark red velvet skirt against a bright red background

this is the body that is rarely seen
because i drape it in loose swathes of fabric
not because i hate it or because i’m ashamed of it
but because i despise other people’s reactions to it
and i don’t like the person i become
in response to their assumptions of an overtly feminine sexuality
that is not an accurate reflection of who i am

i do not like being angry
but at least i am no longer angry with myself
i apologise to my breasts and my waist and my hips
for everything the world has decided they represent
and for my uncomfortable rejection of what they simply are
what they have no choice in being
now that i am less in control of their dimensions

you can stare at the colour of my hair
and the ink beneath my skin
and the metal studs and rings in my face
and you can stare at the sticks i use to walk
and i can take it because it is not so different
from when you stared at the weights i used to lift
and the empty spaces on my plate

in the summer when the city feels like a pressure cooker
and i dare to wear weather appropriate clothing and have a body in public
you can keep your fucking mouth shut
because my legs and my shoulders are not an invitation to comment
because it is not a compliment
but i refuse to hide from the world
just because you cannot accept that you have no right to define me

Say something :-)

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