Sometimes I finger the lump in my breast when I’m bored. I found it when I was in college, home on winter break. I felt betrayed that my body would let that happen - that parts of me could overgrow to that extent. Days later, I sat in the waiting room with the other women. Everything soft and muted - robes in lilac, peach, and powder blue. I drowned. The exam room itself - dark, warm, and womb-like. Soft voices telling me to lie down. The clicking of the machine rolling over flesh, searching like doppler radar. These were benign, but I’ll spend the rest of my life feeling for malignant fruit. When you find a weed, you pluck it from the root. I thought of the time I was hit in the chest during soccer practice. That I stand too close to the microwave. I forget that my body has always overgrown. At birth, I had six digits on each hand - a trait that runs through my family. Eight times in my life, I’ve come close to having them removed, but I would rather remember that my body is imperfect. I imagine those weeds nestled in my tissue. A rootbound plant searching for more inches to cover, all of its needs provided for. weeds are what thrives without our permission.


Poet's bio: Paige Curtis is an emerging writer based in Cambridge, MA working at the intersection of inclusion, equity, and social impact. With recent bylines on IntersectionalEnvironmentalist.com, she is passionate about community-based solutions to environmental issues. She likes eating in bed, laughing at her own jokes, and exercising on her mini trampoline. Learn more about her work here at paigecurtis.me

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