Bandelettes I am searching in the toolbox for the tape measure to wrap around the widest part of my thigh. I need a number. It’s not like that— I am past a shame that can be calculated so easily. What I am not past the how this city’s lakeside swelter blooms the rosy skin beneath my sundress to a burning that neither sweet baby oil nor snowy talcum powder can mend. One night you came home to me spread-eagle and wincing in front of the whirring fan, thought that whatever did that to me must be contagious. No, no, honey. Just the price of looking good. So here I am snapping resistant metal around what, through a lifetime of team sports, depressive seasons, nights outs, and morning bagels, has always lacked the certainty of a doorframe or a floorboard. The woman in the video wraps a cloth band designed for such a task around her own tan and tidy skin with a tailor’s precision. Smiling, she selects the circlet of lace that will save her from a fate so raw as mine, slides it up like a film noir stocking. Yes, yes. I want that. I get my number, place the order, hang a photo of us since the hammer’s already out.
-Published in Zoetic Press’s Write Like You’re Alive 2016 Anthology