Matt Mitchell is a writer from Ohio. His work appears in, or is forthcoming to, venues like The Shallow Ends, NPR, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, The Boiler, and Homology Lit, among others. Twitter: @matt_mitchell48
text for lay me on the table + put flowers in my mouth
text from MyChart
note from therapist: think of your
body as something other than:
Genu valgum (acquired)
legs like derrick rose. a hymnal curving
around an echo. kneecaps hardening into
fragments. screws like statues.
coal mine soot living in my feet—but i
still dance, nimble toes curled like claws,
arches bent like a ballerina, thin legs &
frank saying we’re taller in another dimension.
a doctoral hypothesis of my body growing
to be seventy-six inches or more.
an alternate universe i would love to live in,
where i tower high enough in the air
that all of the chronic pain cannot snake
up my back & out of my open minefield
of a dirty mouth.
Sex chromosome abnormality,
a dream of christmas lights at the zoo, like
the ones my lover & i would reach out & grab
when we were younger.
Adjustment disorder with
disturbance of emotion
i am the swan on the cover of fleetwood
mac’s tango in the night, glistening in a forest
of beauty, decked out in gorgeous rubies &
sapphires sharp like antler crowns, cutting
open & pulling back skin to reveal a heart
beating like a hammond organ, & lungs
like songbirds respirating in harmony with
christine mcvie’s voice in “everywhere.”
Muscle wasting and atrophy,
NEC, unsp lower leg
the study of archaic crates of pediatric
medical records in my attic. the thumbing
of the doctoral indentations over the
purple birthmarks on my wide hips.
Muscle atrophy of lower
a plague of a thousand unlit matches. a vial
of stars seared red.
a chest flattened into a narrow notepad.
a colony of pulp above tender skin.