Poetry, Prosetry

Natural Disaster – Maria Gray

i. my best friend tells me
she is a misprint in her own life story
because no one has ever told her
she can narrate it herself
ii. at age twelve, the lightning
stretching across my hips demands
more attention than any other natural disaster
and even holding my skeleton together
seems like more trouble than it’s worth
iii. i am helping elementary schoolers
during their quarter-hour break
from a theater class, making sure
they fill up their water bottles
and nibble on their graham crackers
when one dark-eyed little girl
confesses she thinks she is too big
to let anything past her crooked teeth
iv. every magazine i’ve ever read
tells skinny girls to wear large shirts
to create the illusion of a bust
and tells larger girls to don
vertical stripes and straight cuts
to form a shrinking silhouette because
no matter a woman’s size
the most beautiful part of her
is always the negative space
v. i may usually be terrified of heights
but i don’t get vertigo when i look down
and see where i used to be because
it’s no secret: i am better off where i am

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