I am not beautiful in the way you say,
but in darkness and a light you've never had.
Push these words between your hands:
I will never be the girl of your dreams.
I am the woman at the small of your back, the delicate
curve that keeps you crawling, that tight
hard place you've never tried to flex.
I can bend to break it all, but won't
because you are scared: of stained sheets,
of punching cramps, of used tampons.
My skin is cruel where it pulls—an angry
scarlet grin frames the crescent of my hip.
Stretch marks whiten into ruts
and take blame for the hatred. Scars.
From growing, from cutting
a map of myself into myself, coral
reefs, bars of blood, cracked ladder rungs.
Now rest the doubt inside.
Nothing is extinguished.
Burn it all. I'll keep coming back.
I Avoid the Homeless
and the good-
looking brothers of exes
an obsession deep enough
to dip the moon.
I want to slip my bucket into a well,
come up with a swarm of bees
and drink from the vibrating sting
until my throat throws a new voice,
all honey and fire and smoke
so thick you'd think it was the good shit.
I want to return to my other self,
break the backs of my hands,
to beat her into a glittering happiness.
Mae Remme earned her MFA from the University of Alaska--Anchorage in 2015. Her work has recently appeared in Tethered by Letters and Word Riot. She lives at the end of the Sterling Highway with her friends and family in Alaska.