Hushed whispers in an undisclosed room
Take it out of the girl
a child, boyish in nature their smallness magnified.
Outcasted—the soft bodied animal you are
determined unruly animalia,
what survives inflation & inertia?
The body is a set of complex feedback systems
nothing is as it appears
the coexistence of a beard & breasts
evidence of the body’s willfully defiant nature
The body’s resilience amid the promise of perish:
somehow the child survives their own hand
the day’s weary edge inverted toward grace
A child, boyish in their nature & barrel shaped
survives sedimented against the residue
of dunes, soil, leaf litter, & the bodies of a lesser
What couldn’t be excised
your boyish nature
your untamed phylum, your small heart pulsing loud
notes against the night.
Copyright © 2020 by Jari Bradley. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 8, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.