“It’s Mine” = One Last Bonus Poem From Abbie Normal

Book cover for A Woman Walks Down the Street by Abbie Normal. There is a winding road in the background.I’ll just be completely straightforward and say that “It’s Mine,” I think, is my favorite of Abbie’s new poems. I think. It’s sort of a magical gift for me—these poems, all of Abbie’s poems, really. Getting to read such personal and revealing and really fucking brave words about transition and discovery and acceptance at a time when I’m doing and feeling the exact same thing is so calming. And this is one of the reasons why we wanted to publish A Woman Walks Down the Street. Words like these are and will be so important to people like me at any age, so let’s hear it for queer representation in literature!

Here’s Abbie:

It’s Mine

My mind and body have both belonged

to a lot of other people before they belonged to me,

old hands gripping too tight

and yes there was darkness

and unwanted everything

but

        who cares anymore

I’m a grown woman

and childhood demons

have lost their poetic allure

so I just focus on how it is now

with hard bones and awkward limbs

like steak knives in the kitchen sink

sticking out at dangerous angles

and I ache to find the mystery

of this six feet of bone and muscle and a round ass

that gets me cat calls on the street and slaps in the bedroom

and this body has always served a purpose

by carrying around this scattershot mind

with dirty feet always moving moving moving

and so I stare at myself naked under fluorescent lights

and I’m dirty old lady voyeur

and grin lewd and possessive

at this body that is mine and no one else’s

and it hasn’t changed that much

just minor swelling and shrinking

so it’s not like it looks that different

it’s just that my eyes have finally adjusted to its charm.

Support queer indie lit and get yourself a copy of A Woman Walks Down the Street. Oh, andBent is also currently accepting submissions, so hit us up, writers!

—Jacob