She arranges herself on the bed. Leg shifted, knee towards her flat down stomach
like a superhero shot from the sky mid-flight. Her waist is twisted, and she can
arch her back and roll her shoulder blades with the precision of a cat, easy as
falling from a tree. She does this so that her ass is in better view- if need be.
Forcing her elbows to a kiss she shows off to the smudged laptop screen. She
asked for one with a webcam to prove to herself yes she is existing alive in the
eyes of all she is worshipped by.
Inside the online gallery she licks her lips
lifts her awkwardly large hand to her temple
flicks a limp hair behind her still untouched ears.
Her ears, so soft and pink. She thinks she ought to be a cherub in one of those
paintings she saw in art class. She doesn’t pay attention much, until she sees
something that looks like her like a shiny metal sculpture, or what the teachers
call a ‘nude’ because they’re embarrassed to talk about sex in front of 14 year
olds. 14 year olds like her, who already know what it is. Untouched ears because
she’s fucked but not loved. Not like the cherubs and the yielding naked women.
She is there. Not existing as a person, merely a living body. Her body is inhabited
by a face she only knows through mirrors and cameras. She is no longer in her
bedroom, only, in the bedroom of the girl she sees in front of her.
This is where she belongs and longs to be. She watches as she eats; she
sees, an outsider, her head tilted, the pen rolling slickly in her shiny mouth; her
eyes glide over all the square jaw lines as she scrolls; she sees how good she
looks in those tight jeans. She is operating a body-machine. She monitors with
painstaking accuracy like the movie security guard or psycho-serial-murderer.
When she walks home from school all the men who are picking up their
daughters pick up this daughter with glances. She also sees herself seeing them
and what they see in her. Confused, inspired, worshipped. All the perspectives
of her gaze are colliding so often that she is lost in a kaleidoscope, patterning
in crystal chaos each movement of her limbs. She marks down every step she
takes, the angle of her hips with each small twitch or sway. Here she passes the
older boys and knows to tweak her eyelids to a sigh, pulling on the strings of her
Every night at 4pm she lies as she is: cocking legs and arms and aching to fit
herself square into this tiny lens. Denial of parts of her body. Lost shins, feet
unimportant. Sometimes the head as well.
She is practicing for imminent touching, when she will be watched through other
lenses: she practices so the program does not fail. She has undertaken the role
of fuck-me. She is now a mechanism so fully operational, drinking the milk of
performance, abandoning the outline of self for being seen.
Featured image by Maggie Meshnik.