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n. an act or instance of damaging or altering something radically (03/02/2024)

they call it.

like i’m a butcher
in search of meat to cleave,
and rather than stain my knife
on the skins of bleating livestock
or sweat over a hunt or chase,
i choose the path of least resistance:
myself, my flesh, my matter—
so naïve and unknowing,
defenceless in the face of change.

as if the weight
i mean to carve away
isn’t unwelcome or didn’t invade
some twenty-odd years ago
without my say,
like it doesn’t suffocate
my shape or cause me harm
or grief
or pain.

because my body bears
neither rash nor redness
nor groove nor furrow;
my spine suffers not
and my muscles never ache—
they’re fine! a simple fix, right?
be active, exercise, get fit;
that will solve everything
from stretched shirts to sweaty ribs
(and sweaty stomachs)
to the weight, the weight,
the weight.

but that’s
why not just go smaller? you ask.
that’s so extreme!

you mean to tell me
done in that way
isn’t quite the same?

the components are there:
scalpels, scissors,
anaesthesia, hospital whites.
the only difference is one takes less
where one takes all
—by choice—
and yet cries of chromosomes
and binaries
and mutilation
and god’s design
forget to address the mathematics
beyond zero’s outrageous baseline—
because any operation achieved
through painstaking organic PEMDAS
should surely qualify?

and yet we have words
for things like this:
reduction, augmentation,
labels so clinical and refined.
i can only take some, not all,
as that’s socialism
or communism
or something else
equally wicked and reviled:

they call it
a body forged
by choice, light
and strong
and free.

they call it.


i call it


lgbtqtransgenderbodily autonomyfreedom

meandering transfixed sans temporal landmarks (24/10/2022) ►


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Russell Jacklin

Mon 5th Feb 2024 16:25

I was engrossed, great words

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