MY THERAPIST SAYS I HAVE TERRIBLE COPING MECHANISMS By Anna Šverclová

MY THERAPIST SAYS I HAVE TERRIBLE COPING MECHANISMS

my sister told me the day I was molested                   (at 3) I showed my niece

my vulva

I guess this is just                    how I communicate now

The easiest way to open a body is with your finger

tear apart a deer skull                                  from the eyeball out

using your                                                            hands as a crowbar

gut a fish                                                                                    with your fingernails

wedged                                                                                         into its mouth

like                                                                                                       an orange eaten as an apple

Force your teeth through the skin

open your daughter in the bathtub

I learned this: the body knows when not to open
my labia fused together for a year

I find myself craving all kinds of being torn apart
in the last year I’ve had 30 bodies pass through my own

“sex is a way of holding yourself”

I find myself held
swaddled in jackets
and carpenter pants
and argyle printed thrifted bed sheets
hotel quilts,
a bandana
a sock wrapped           around my throat
or a hand                       pressed tight into my skin

“You are looking for a mother in every bed”

I am looking for a mother
like a monkey breastfeeds a baby doll
I am looking for a mother

and I keep finding my underwear                                          crammed in

the
corner of my
backpack

I am looking for a mother
but all I am finding is her fingers

and when I find her
it is always the same story: an opening

a finger          wedged            between      me      like     a   pitch     fork into a hen
still alive

By Anna Šverclová

Biography:

Anna Šverclová (they/them) is a totally queer sophomore director of Macalester College’s slam poetry team, MacSlams. They were born and raised in the Twin Cities suburbs and they cry whenever it snows. Over the years, they have become an expert in layering. Their secret? A journal compliments every outfit.

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