The hands that caught me as I entered
the world were the same hands that examined
me at sixteen, back flattened against a white sheet.
There was no discussion of sexual activity,
birth control, or even menstruation.
This man revered by my mother,
told me I could lose weight, told me
to diet, that in his country
people are hungry.
My own hands clutched the fabric,
tried to not cry the instant
tears that would come hot in the car.
My place in the world
welled inside me like the ghost
of a boulder, great and silent.
Sarah Lilius is the author of four chapbooks, including GIRL (dancing girl press, 2017), and Thirsty Bones (Blood Pudding Press, 2017). Her work has appeared in the Denver Quarterly, Pithead Chapel, Entropy, and Fourteen Hills. She lives in Virginia with her husband and sons. Her website is sarahlilius.com.