You have to go to the doctor soon, you accidentally veered into a stranger on the street carrying all his laundry and caused him to drop his briefs and a sock, peanut butter made you break into hives so you’re not sure if you’re allergic now or what, your cuticles are in pristine condition, your stomach hums like a refrigerator, you respond to bells and deadlines, you wear socks to sleep.
You are not a dragon, you do not have webbed feet, you do not change colors with chlorophyll, you do not photosynthesize, your body does not produce apples, web MD convinces you you’re dying about once a month, there are people who remember you as a bobbed little kid doing cute and disgusting baby things, you jump into wild mental trysts with people you meet on public transport, you miss someone often, your hair grows, there is skin over your bones, you are not a washing machine, your belly does not wash clothes, you are not made of metal, you are not a lever or a pulley or a simple machine.
Your lips are chapped, you’re worried about the global economy and families being bombed in other countries and that the cheesecake you ate yesterday is going to make you fat, you have been put in a box by gender norms, you got to climb up into the driver’s seat of a fire truck when you were five and at the time it struck you as an extremely cinematic moment, you are yielding in regards to pizza topping divisions, you want to be included in things.
When you’re tired your views on life turn blue gray like a water damaged kaleidoscope, you feed bread crusts to ducks, you are not a duck, oil does not slip off your back, you do not spread new species to freshwater regions, you either are or are not in love, you like movies, you like avocados, you have the ability to produce small humans, you are teaching them how to dance, you hope they end up like you, you hope they don’t, you don’t hope for anything but the shows you recorded on HBO.
You take pictures of yourself, you’re lulled to sleep by rain, you are chemically affected by stormy weather, you are attracted to someone or no one or most people, you are terrified of natural disasters and of your loved ones dying suddenly in some kind of freak car accident or house fire, you can’t sleep when you think this way, acid reflux sometimes burns your mouth like floor cleaner and changes the taste, you institute five different philosophical belief systems per day, you fiddle with your watch, you scratch your left arm, you get restless legs and run alone at night til the sky slips over your head like silk nylons, you go to the bathroom, you close your eyes when you think about heaven, you listen to music, you sit on your bed with both feet stretched under your laptop, you sit in interviews and explain who you are in riddles while both hands form a tepee in your lap.
You start the crosswords as your tea cools then give up half way through, you are related to someone, you snore, when you stretch one hand it can fit over eight to ten piano keys, you can do a head stand, you can cope with loneliness and anxiety, you kiss with your eyes closed, you’ve gone snorkeling, you can make lists to forget, you can drink to forget, you can forget by accident and lose points on the test.
You want to be Madame Curie or Derek Jeter or discover the right way to fold hospital corners, you are a day older than you were yesterday, you haven’t located the fountain of youth on Linkedin or Twitter or Mapquest or Clinique or Maybelline’s websites or in any recreational drug, you are not a cartoon pirate, you cannot fly over cities, you do not have six extra video game lives, you can taste your tears, you can lie on the witness stand, you can lie on the altar, you can lie in your bed or in your lover’s face and you can tell the truth any time you want.
You can look someone straight in the eyes and feel for a moment the alarming enormity that exists outside yourself, you can scream, you can chop up mandrake roots to make herbal remedies, you can place a cake in an oven, you can summon the muscles around your mouth into a smile, you can breathe continually in and out, you are not a robot, you are not made of metal, you are not plastic or perfect or undeserving, you are not impervious to influence, you do not wash clothes in your belly, you are not a washing machine, you do not have webbed feet.
Kathleen Radigan is a seventeen year old person, writer, and girl. Some of her previous publications include Hackwriters, Blood Lotus, The Newport Review, Innisfree Poetry, Pif, Prick of the Spindle, Constructions, and 13 Extraordinary Things.Â She hails from Rhode Island, where she spends most of her time doodling, drafting things, jumping on trampolines and trying to make it through high school in one piece.