Written by Media Responses, Writing

Maybe It Isn’t That We Didn’t Try, But That We’ve Tried for Too Long?


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If My Body Could Speak A Response to If My Body Could Speak by Blythe Baird

I read If My Body Could Speak by Blythe Baird on a plane. I am drinking Diet Coke. I have this habit of swishing it around like mouthwash. It coats my teeth, on course to erode my stomach lining. Maybe the battery acid will seep into my blood. Can you replace oxygen with aspartame?

I read If My Body Could Speak on a slingshot through heaven. I know it is heaven because we slice through appropriately fluffy clouds. Clouds you’d call cotton-candy or pillowy if you were feeling cliche.

I remember the overnight flight when I was so cold. I got a Diet Coke then too. I was all mixed up in the same feminine brand of self-hatred Baird describes. Self-hatred that eats glitter for lunch and breaks your teeth.

She’s right. Survival of the prettiest is exhausting. Rejection always equating to being too much much. That flight was a stomach ulcer. I want enough battery power to explode. Maybe this plane will combust.

The back cover says, “Do not say you didn’t try.”

I used to feel that guilt too. Her poems are my tangled intestines. If your intestines were stretched out all the way, they’d wrap around the world.

I am glad she is writing. I am glad she is angry. I hope one day I meet her skydiving. On a free fall we choose ourselves.

I read If My Body Could Speak on a plane and it made me want to change the world. I want to find that particularly feminine brand of fixing things before we put them down.


Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash