Breath & Shadow
A Journal of Disability Culture and Literature
Breath and Shadow
Volume 14 Issue 2
Being or Living With
By Julianna Siemssen
my head weighs a whole ten pounds.
My shoulders must be tired from such a burden,
but you are going to free me
because you know
that if you angle the knife just right
when you slice it off
a balloon will blossom from my neck
with harsh fluorescent lights for eyes
and a sharpie grin
and for hair, a single rope you can pull
when you play tug-of-war.
Lasers? Chainsaws? Prayers?
Probiotic defluorinated milk infused with electromagnetic oils?
You keep on trying
in your contaminated labs
and our hands grow calloused scrubbing up the blood.
Siemssen is an undergraduate at the University of Washington. This is
her first published poem.