After my mother shook my thighs,
I started skipping meals.
I believed my mother was jolting Jell-O.
But she wasn’t jolting Jell-O.
What my mother did was shake a mountain.
A mountain that has a river streaming through,
because when my girl touches me, its
And when that stream creeps up
to the ruts and ridges on my hips,
I am sorry for dismantling you.
I am sorry for taking my aggression, anxiety,
depression out on you.
I am sorry.
I am sorry for squeezing you into my jeans,
for only paying attention to the size
written on the seams
for sucking in the pits of my stomach
wanting them to be thinner.
I am sorry I got your lungs so panicked
you couldn’t breathe
causing you to wheeze on the shower floor
banging fists on doors
only hoping all oxygen gets cut off for good.
I am sorry for wishing
you didn’t exist.
Or for me not to exist.
I am sorry I let him peep
through the leaves
on your tree,
He didn’t look at you
like the wild wonder
that you are,
He only saw flesh.
I am sorry I didn’t realize sooner,
You are not just skin
You are an adventure I live in.
Beautifully stitched together
by the seams.
This is my apology to you.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.