on learning to love the space I take up By Leila Jackson

on learning to love the space I take up

There’s something freeing about showing
my bare walls my beauty–
my windows shut, my towel
round my head, no skirt or corset to hide
the lumpy silhouette where my hips meet the air.
Something about dancing the waltz
at night, after learning it in grade six
opposite a boy with sweaty hands
who laughed at my lopsided face for three years
and singing, loudly, off-key
to my only beautiful audience.
She stares back at me, thighs
rubbing together, dimpled and stretched and scarred
and all her own, and smiles
and claps
and weeps.

By Leila Jackson


Leila Jackson is a junior at Georgetown Day high school in DC. She has received several regional awards for her work. In her free time, she enjoys poetry and boba tea.

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