god forbid (Anisha Narain)

god forbid

i have a body

god forbid i show
its lines, its curves,

its stretch
marks: yaw / pitch

god forbid it

grows, revels in its
own glory

god forbid it lets
its mere existence

afford it space and
time or love (oh god)

god forbid i let it

god, i am so tired

of turning this body
into poetry

why must it be this
way? why can’t

i let it be? i sit in
the belly of all the

romance i spin,
grinding my teeth as

my imagination runs
thin, thinner,

thinner, until all i am
left with is

the metaphor, the line
break, the shell i scoop

myself from to knead
and press or mold

because god forbid
i be anything less


Anisha Narain (she/they) is a queer Tamil-American poet and creator studying computer science and creative writing at the University of Illinois. She has recently been published in perhappened and has work forthcoming in giallo lit. In her spare time, she likes to sing, act, and add to her collection of quirky jewelry. Find her (always) on Twitter and Instagram @anarain00.


image: Susan Gutterman