Phlegm Magazine

Contribution to Phlegm Zine #3 in collaboration with the Spit It Out project. This issue addressed eating disorders in the pandemic.

 

Words and photography by Nina Klaff. Read the full issue here

Jade asked me to think of myself as a deity

and show you how it went

and the Great Art Man told me all Great Artists 

must grapple with their own image

so here I am

 

in body 

form

not quite a deity, but still

not quite not, not yet

 

I started out

immaculate and plastic

some time and science and i’m here

still

 

is it ungrateful 

to sometimes question it

being here

dappled gold 

and still

 

perhaps he was right 

(they usually are)

 

.

I put the gold where the sweat drips

simply put

 

does my memory have to be true 

because

I do remember the last time I was touched

but not by you

 

my mother’s hair brushed my cheek yesterday

but on her day we stood apart

 

and I baked challah for us on friday

I wove the strands of dough like she used to 

plait my hair 

once she had brushed the day out of me

 

.

 

four walls leave space for it all

and time (don’t say it)

might be all we have 

 

can I ask

how many calories in the holy bread

will it make my hips swell

or worse - my belly flesh

till i have to plait it under plastic elastic 

and pat it down

to keep it flat

 

is this the kind of thought you share?

 

I never used to, until I did

that’s all it ever was

even then

just a question

 

can I ask you?

do you remember what touch feels like?

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