inverted biography MAG

November 21, 2010
By juliey SILVER, Plano, Texas
juliey SILVER, Plano, Texas
9 articles 2 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be." --Clementine Paddleford


when you come out into this world
backwards,
breech baby, everything
holds its own weight.

at three, i held on tightly to a lamp post
breathed until the metal's taste burned my throat.
at seven, i fell, deeply, irreparably in love
with the sound of a music box, with the sharp sting
of a paper cut.

i ran away from home
and swam in rivers for a year.
i let the foam lap against my thighs
curled my toes in the briny water
watched the fish choke writhing.
i came home and life was longer.

at ten, i stumbled into a book.
i smelled the pages' perfumed musk
i bounced atop the inky e's
waltzed with t's
fell asleep sprawled on a predicate.
at thirteen, i changed my name
once, twice, thirteen times
dina, agnes, tess, phoebe
when i stopped i couldn't remember who or how or why

i grew out my hair
so long it trailed fifteen miles behind me
one mile for every year –
so long i tripped and plunged down a rabbit hole

and,
at seventeen when i emerged,
head first this time,
i stepped on hard ground.


The author's comments:
invented autobiography of myself, partially inspired by Kate Winslet's AmEx commercial I saw a few years ago.

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