“Born This Way” by Amy Newell


So you say. And it is true, I do not remember a time when I was otherwise.
Twenty years now I have talked and talked in little rooms, walked
and walked in the rain, swallowed my pills. I remember once
dancing on a table in college with my shirt off, there was a strobe light,
I was drunk and dancing. How I would like to be drunk and dancing
now, instead of hiding from my children here in the bedroom.
If I put on bright lipstick and dance on a table and proclaim myself
perfect just as I am, will I be well? Such an anthem, would that I were easy
enough to make whole, would that I were just one happy variation
among variations. What purpose does this variation serve?
The pills take away everything that is beautiful about how I was born,
all that glitter, and leave the despair. It is no wonder that every night
I weigh my options, the big white pill, the blue and white capsule,
the yellow one, the orange, and the green. Show me your original face,
say the Zen masters, the one you had before you were born. My original
face has been sandblasted. Sometimes I meditate, I watch my breath
and I turn my eyes to the desert inside of me. If I was born this way
I shall always be this way, there is no saving me. There is no safety
in singing. Go ahead, sing for me. Tell me why I should continue to live.




Amy Newell writes poems about madness, marriage, motherhood, and elevators. In addition to her poetry, she has a trail of abandoned blogs and decades of overwrought journal entries. She lives in the Boston area with her husband, two children, and cat.

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  1. Pingback: Contributors, Winter 2015 | Rkvry Quarterly Literary Journal

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