by MaKenzie Jean Copp
I am marble.
I am wax.
I am clay.
The sculptor chastises:
I did not do this;
this was not me;
this is not my work of art;
but when she plunges her hands into the medium,
she knows only what she wants the thing to be,
and not what the thing will learn to believe about itself,
not all the ways it will crack and fall,
for there is blindness in creation,
and just as I think God might have staggered
at the self loathing buried secretly in man,
made in his image,
my mother did so at the sound of my exclamations:
I hate myself
I am ugly
I want to die
they are blasphemous,
but they are the commandments of a religion
born within her womb,
and her denials are meaningless…
I am exactly what you pictured me to be,
but the review that made your courage falter
was written by these hands:
not an attack on the artist,
but a confession of the art; for,
I am cracked marble,
I was sat there, Mother, tucked always
away under your rib bones,
and I saw the tears you cried
when you held your soft stomach in your hands.
I saw you wince at reflections,
and although you named me a path to healing,
and whispered all your insecurities to me,
hoping that they would fall
out of your lips and into oblivion,
in the wet pain of my skin.