Academic journal article Transnational Literature

A Proud Blemish

Academic journal article Transnational Literature

A Proud Blemish

Article excerpt

The year I graduate from size eights,

learn to walk in the grown man's shoes

contradicting the diminutive frame

I parade across the Arndale estate:

2step is an airborne sickness, infecting

every discerning cassette deck,

after-hours wine bar, joy rider's car.

Most weekends I try to fool a woman

accustomed to the lies of men, sneak home

an hour shy of her footfall in the hallway,

to rehearse my lines: I was home ... I just

... didn't hear the phone, the beep

of the answering machine, her repeating

my name till it's a prayer, voice two parts

ire, one despair, that her days are riven

between shift patterns and her only son.

By the time I graduate size nines, understand

Caesarean, when she answers my question:

did it hurt? Shows me the dark groove hidden

under her work shirt, a proud blemish in skin

rippled with ridges from weight loss, she knows

It's not stress. …

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