This is my body - this flesh I pay for with ink and sweat and long days hunched over ink and paper and computer screens, this flesh I discipline and burn into compliance through mornings and evenings of thick breath and pounding pulse, this flesh that whistles like a flag in a hurricane's band, this unmarried thing discrete and silent except for the sound of pounding keys, this is my body. Taciturn and staring, my slow tongue kissing each syllable before it flees my mouth, my eyes gauging each impact before I let the next word go, my shoulders tensed in anticipation of the response I know in my gut is coming, this is my body, straight back and twisted gut both shielding me in every conversation I've ever had, my arms crossing like swords in front of my chest, the scars and stories on my chest and my shoulders whispering to me that I should not speak, I am word and thought and dream, this flesh twisting and straight at three AM between sheet and mattress, this bead of sweat dripping quietly through the hollows of my ribs, this rustle of down and fabric tossed to one side, this is my body that I write with every word I think and do not say and do not write, this is my flesh that I write into being, eat and drink. This is my body.
[completely unedited, and I know it's not my usual. sorry for the occasional cliches. this isn't for publication or anything, I've just been studying all day and felt like throwing something at the internet while I try to click myself back into writing-the-essay mode]