I never knew I was seen as something somehow lesser until I fell from the tree, broke my wrist, bones grating together like the rounded rocks by the lake. After that, my mother demanded I wear white dresses, play indoors, and reminded me, Woman was fashioned out of Man’s rib, made for him by our great, loving God, amen. No such thing as Mother Nature. She said I should have skin like silk, no sandpaper scrapes from falling from trees. Young ladies should wear satin, she said, not blue jeans, and they certainly should never go shirtless, running through sprinklers in the summer heat. Even then I knew I was made of more than rib—knew I was more than a piece of someone else. I knew I was skin and bone, hard and soft, not just peach flesh but also pit.
Despy Boutris’s writing has been published or is forthcoming in Copper Nickel, Ploughshares, Crazyhorse, American Poetry Review, The Gettysburg Review, Colorado Review, and elsewhere. Currently, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of The West Review.
Photography by: Evie S.