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by Greeshma Somashekar, MS1

tell them nameless deeds from years past / tell them birthmark and drooling grin and double chin / tell them all of the ways in which you’ve ever been wronged / they will not tell wrong off but tell it mercy / who will tell you breathless things on mountains that tell you smaller than you feel even on the smallest days / tell the scale to measure your worth one last time / tell the toothbrush it was only ever meant for cleaning enamel / body will tell you gratitude when you sleep naked on sunday mornings / tell your oozing waistline winding river stories from childhood / tell no one to look between the legs of the tiny human who told you knock knock jokes for nine months / who will tell you moon wolf scream and shark bite labor in the hollow guest bathroom / partner tells you babe you’ve just gotta push it out / the midwives tell you they are stuck behind a funeral procession / tell yourself death precedes birth / tell the contractions to slow down in vain / body does as body wants / squat body in tall thin room telling you to look down / skylight shows you matted hair shut eyes shivering wail / tell the new one you are sorry you are far from perfect / the new one plays with your nipples until you cry and you tell yourself this is love / maybe / she will tell you someday whether or not this is true