body pink, dripping


someday i’ll stop censoring myself i’ll let words scuttle like roaches out of the walls and everything will crumble into its rightful place and i’ll finally be me and me and i don’t know what i’ll look like then ‘cept still blonde still soft because i’ll never get rid of this damned softness i’m talking about this  body that wants to cradle any body that asks nice enough but these days i can’t do much of that and i don’t know what to do with my hands so i go go go go go last week i went to the hardware store three times bought pastel paint called “hazy calico” and jalapeno chocolate and spackling and all sorts of i-know-what-the-fuck-i’m-doing stuff because my hands need something to do even when i’m sleeping my hands need something to do

at nine years old i used to fall asleep on my stomach with each of my palms pressed flush against my hip bones if i did not do that i did not sleep sometimes i still do not sleep two nights ago i awoke in nothing but my underwear covers pushed off blonde soaked in sweat i walked to the kitchen and stood in front of the fridge: watermelon red peppers blood orange seltzer sticks of butter the watermelon was one of those personal-sized ones so small that it felt funny to eat at 2am i pulled out a knife and cutting board  i sliced that melon in half and took a spoon to dip out its insides and there in the kitchen its pink juice dripped down my belly hazy-brained i went back to bed and the next morning i showered off the sticky let it run down the drain but each night i keep finding it face painted fierce i smize into the mirror and thank antm’s toxicity for the badass bitch that lives inside me they wear six-inch stilettos and walk between bodies who all look and they do not mind the looking they lap it up and still parched ask for more they bare their teeth and bite their lip and they do not wait to say—they hold leo palms on wide hips they sip their vodka like a midwestern kingqueen they paint their eyes and shave their head and when asked they say “they” “they” “they” “they”

the next morning i ring up those watermelon at work i bag them up for families for teens off to throw a pandemic barbeque i key in their code when stickers missing they scoot down the conveyor belt and here the watermelon is not a metaphor for something else here it’s just a lightly seeded “seedless” fruit it’s a “clean up in the produce department” it’s an “i don’t want to cook tonight [again]”



M. Bennett  is a poet originally from  Jewett, OH. Currently, you can find them stocking the wall deli at their local grocery or teaching English Composition. Less recently, they’ve spent time emptying bedside commodes, making roast beef sandwiches, sorting go-back clothes, fixing salads, and dressing mannequins (among other things).