Shifting Shorelines

You cuss as you toss aside another pair of smaller-than-you-remember jeans
and wonder how such a tiny human could give you these not-so-tiny thighs,
these tree trunks made of jello
or this striped stomach made of putty.
These boobs someone let the air out of
or this bald spot, smack dab on your right temple, impossible to hide.

Your body fails you every day
when the jeans don’t fit
or a sneeze catches you by surprise.
When your legs forget how to jog
and your lungs forget how to breathe.
When all you needed was a new bathing suit but now you’re crying in a Target dressing room.

You gasp in awe at the curves of a Carolina shoreline
but forget the power of humanity is harnessed in the curves of your hips.
Not even the ocean can push new life into the world
or create a soul from scratch.
Only you can carry the weight of the world in your arms
and make up bedtime stories of princesses who battle dragons and not their jeans.

Your body never failed you.
While you danced around the kitchen on growing thighs,
it grew perfect miniature toes,
long soft eyelashes
fluttering over eyes that look like your great-grandmother and brother all at once.
Your body did exactly what you always prayed it would.

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