January 2014


  • Artwork by Adrian "Viajero" Roman
  • Editors:
    Tishon Woolcock
    Caits Meissner
    Anna Meister
    Nora Salem
  • Editor's Note:
    On Installations and Goodbyes

January 2014

Portrait One

by Kimberly Marks

When I was 14 i carved F-A-T
just above my belly button
crossed the A twice
it was a promise to myself
that one day I would
wrap my hands around my waist
to touch each thumb to index finger

In class I sucked on children’s vitamins
ate two to four spoonfuls
of Cream of Wheat in a day

by sixteen my left arm
was a tree trunk
dug into by an angry bear
notches on a post counting
long years of solitude
train tracks of
cartilage thick scars
film pulling taught on sour milk

It was a ritual of red
roots and branches dripping
the blood-orange sun in me
finally emanating
rusted flakes delicately cleaned
pink carnations bloomed
under every loosened scab

one day I learned
the most popular girl in high school
had scars from every ankle to knee

in a stalled car
a friend pulled up her shirt
to show me smoke trails
from fire she scratched into
the sky

Jessica knifed
her lovers name
down her forearm
in 7th grade algebra
at age 22 I heard
she left the world
by the end of a rope

my healer tells me
if I want to be in this body
I need to listen to the language
of my spirit

when I do it shows me
a bird in my belly
pecking at its own feet
with eyes made of broken glass
that burst with tears
at every peck

a child tells a story
neon chalk on black construction paper
tiny insects moving so fast
feet, tiny sticks in the air
the giant is large, his mallet heavy
we are tiny

our hands go deep
into a bed of clay
and pull out every stone

About Kimberly Marks
Kimberly Marks is a proud survivor and believes her spirit exists between female and male energies. She is often transfixed by the movement of flames, water, and smoke. When she was seven she aspired to be Freddie Mercury when she grew up. That dream has never ended. She lives in the Bay Area.

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