"Rosanne, You Can Put on the Red Light Tonight"
I’m on the phone with Roseanne Barr,
I ask her, “What are you supposed to do
when you’re afraid of your own body?”
She tells me she doesn’t know, but if I figure it out
to call her back.
I do what I always do: push on the bruise,
the bruise being my body,
the thing that bruised me being my mind.
I realize, I haven’t seen enough variation
of the inner thigh. I don’t see anybody
naked, up close, chin to shin
or what have you.
The only bodies I see are perfect. And not anything like mine.
I call Roseanne back, I’m crying.
“Do you self sabotage by denying the good
in lieu of the perfect? Do you, Roseanne?
Because Brene Brown says that we all do
and I know she’s right. But does that mean my expectations
are impossible to meet? And that it’s not that way
because of my high self worth
but rather as a guise to hide how very very low it really is?”
Roseanne is quiet on the other end.
She chokes through a few confused exchanges, then apologizes.
She has to go. Don’t call her tonight, she’s going to be busy.
I’m going to be busy too,
chewing on my pillow as I flip through
childhood memories like a fucking picture book.
I do not like bodies that look like mine. Does anyone?
I don’t know. I never let myself know.
Will I ever not wince at being touched?
I don’t know.
Neither does Roseanne.
But the world thinks we’ve both got it handled.
When you have a body like mine you either get to be brave