Trina Young is a recent grad from DePaul University with a passion for any kind of writing she can do. She was one of the winners of the Pegasus Young Playwrights competition in 2010, and has had one poem published by Afterimage Online’s Inklight gallery. She continues to submit to journals in order to build her credits and be included among many other talented people. She currently writes for Blavity, a site for black millennials to fight the stereotypes against them, and would like to eventually write for comedy TV as well. She lives in Chicago, IL.
Sister sang her body anorexic,
and I walked in on it changing,
not facing me, shirt off, pants down.
The spine reaching from the nape
of the neck to the tail, eighteen bumps
like the cobblestone path in our
mother’s groomed garden.
It was skeletal by default, not
like one from the grave. More science
lab: clean, cold and factual. The hips
wire hanger protruding, the skin
just a temporary outfit hung up, possible
to step out of when too tight. Her underwear
too big, bunchy in the ass like a diaper.
There again, regression. I looked through
the distance between her thighs to her reflection
in the full length mirror. Thin shins bruised easy.
The knees looked desperate to come together.
I was scared to look too close at any part
that an organ might lie under, maybe seeing
her lungs pressing through the rows of ribs,
like hands reaching. Or her heart slow
thumping, pushing the skin up for a pulse
and back down. I thought all her insides
must live so close. Too close, a family
with eight children and a grandma, stuffed
into a modest apartment. No wonder
she’s so distanced; there’s no room
for anyone else. She didn’t see me
at first, but I’ve always known the eyes.
When she smiles they project the end
of Daylight Savings: dark early, chasing
sun. She looked in the mirror too, caught me
over her shoulder, and exhaled get out.
I slammed the door and felt what it was
between us – locked shut, solid and heavy.