Number One [poem] by Catherine Orlando

Stop.
Stop right there
and don’t run your eyes
heavy and languid and physical
like a touch along my clavicle
like my hunger like
the fact that I couldn’t stomach
lunch or dinner today or
dinner yesterday or the day before
that. So don’t. Don’t run your
eyes along that like its something
good like its something you like
like its there for You.

Stop. Don’t pinch or poke
or prod my thin pale pasty
white skin
yellowing and yellowing
with each cigarette and each
minute second hour
day I spend
lengthening my face and
taking in my
skirt.

stop
please
don’t question the little hills the rumpled
goose-flesh the signs i’m
frozen because no one
knows no one’s
noticed no one
sees the full grown girl
who
still can’t keep her breaths
even

don’t
don’t pause for a
moment at the way my
blouse flutters and jumps over
my sped up lub-dub
because my heart is
racing to the
finish line
and doesn’t want
to be caught.

Image of 1930s Switchboard Operator
Image by Alyssa-L-Miller

Catherine Orlando is a college student, raised in New York and based in Baltimore. She is currently exploring any and all creative outlets through which she might express girlhood.