Kalyn McAlister


What I want to know is if I practice yoga, really dedicate, will I be able to finger myself. Like not just the tip, a full finger inside, to the last knuckle, a couple, several. An entire fist, if I paced myself and really stretched before and after. What about my tongue on my nipples, those lauded berries of mammary? Clitoris? Peel back my own purple-veined petals. Will I be able to run a finger shivery down my spine or cup an apple cheek and give a good-natured squeeze, a promise of more to come? And then deliver. Will shaving be a breeze and self-pedicures a cinch? How about zipping up my dresses or getting out of a too-tight shirt? Will my contortions allow me to look at that weird bump on my back, or stretch to scratch the itch right below my bra strap—no a little up, to the left, the other left? When I get a line of zits beneath my sports bra from all this yoga sweat, will I be able to pop my own bacne? Will I be able to give myself massages after a fight with my parents or whisper in my ear when I least expect it? Can I give myself risqué pets when no one’s looking and forehead kisses goodnight? Will I be able to wrap my arms around myself front to back, listening to my own heartbeat echo itself, a dialogued monologue—or from back to front, spooning at night, a reassuring weight inciting night sweats, the type ghosts and spooks of all kinds fear most? Will I be able to rest my head on my own shoulder, when I’ve been on my feet all day, when someone yells at me, when I yelled at someone else, when my dog dies, when I’m spun out, when I’m at the movies, when on public transportation, when I brim with affection, when I need to close my eyes for just a second, be hidden from the buzzing stinging world, and just exist with my heart on my sleeve.

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