Searching for My Own Body by Yesenia Montilla

Which is to say that like a good theoretical objectified body, my identity was created not by me but by the various desires and beliefs of those around me.
– Daniel Borzutzky

My body is a small cave door
it’s a slick whale a jubilant
sea of tall grass that sways
& makes its way across countries
& lovers I love love-making
I don’t remember a time when
I wasn’t interested in touch
I have these breasts
& some would want to come
on hands & knees to worship them
call me flower or desert
Maybe I was only supposed to be
stone or a baby eel
long & layered a nun?
I don’t remember ever saying
yes just no
I am searching for my own body
not the one I was told is so
I want to be always open
like a canyon
Maybe I was only supposed to be
tree or temple
In some circles I am
just an open gate
a sinful bauble
Once someone said you are this
& I never questioned it

I am searching my own body
for God

or someone like her—