Self-Portrait as C-Section Scar

Aimee Nezhukumatathil

When I’m happy, I can smile twice at the same time.
So thin—a marker-tip line with a waxy shine—
a vein of a maple leaf, a dog’s upper lip, arm of anemone.
Of all the magical plants and animals in the sea,
the hagfish is the most unpopular, the most horrifying—
the one that makes children burst into tears. And if that
isn’t enough, it is the only fish without vertebrae,
so it can tie itself into a knot to bulge out and pop
the small mouths of fish that dare to eat it.
Don’t you admire the clever slip and wriggle?
Don’t you think its nerves are left a little more electric
after she is caught? Sometimes, if you put an ear
to the dark slash between my hip bones, you can hear
a soft hum. Pretend it’s a skit of bees in late spring.

Back to top ↑

Sign up for Our Email Newsletter