She dresses in the lamplight. Stretch marks like tiny rivers weave their way through her earth, she pulls at them until they become bruised, she cannot forgive herself for being. Layer upon layer, she remakes herself, an image from a magazine. Taut smile, crisp hair, concrete gaze. Eyes meet hers in the street, assess her geography; she is colonized inch by inch. Her breasts become mountains that muddy hands claim, her soil is reaped beneath her, slack breath is biting in darkened corners of cocktail bars and busy streets.
Hastily she undresses, she climbs through moons, each step a crack in her skin until she resembles sweet fruit. Her rivers become oceans, healing lands that will glisten in summer months, negating her need for lotions or colour correctors. Eyes that stare are challenged by tiny swords that grow from her wounds. Rippled flesh is an armour that she dons, a blasphemy to gods that declare her unfit for duty. And in the night, the ebony corner is a refuge where she gathers her strength through grainy vinyl and grandmother’s recipes.
Soon her womb breathes a daughter, suckling dry the seas that salt her tenderness. She plucks each grace and places them in her palms, palms that feed mouths and grasp at silence. As she fades beneath clean sheets, she is naked as her roots take shape, sinking their arms into new dimensions. She exhales and inherits the earth, becoming the wind that grazes our foreheads, the stars that ignite the sky.