I can see how you’d logic the numbers:
the ratio of your height and weight to mine equaled
             your hand over my mouth.
You, with your red hair, a human rarity—
thank god. But these days, red is just a color
             to paint my nails with.
I collate skeletons in my blood.
I scrub the blood from between my legs.
             I stop when the signs tell me to.
I rationalize you away, like slicing
a red onion, smaller and smaller,
             forever approaching zero.
At the church playground, past dark,
I dangled from the monkey bars
             your face below my feet.
Just under eighteen
and I could still fit on the slide,
             blue jean rush
against dimpled plastic,
then baby fat soft
             in the lamplight.
And at your mother’s house,
on the couch,
             wedged between the pillows—
I thought I knew how to feel
all the parts of you, over
             any and every part of me.

My numbers were off.
But after, I held my thumb
             to the living room window,
squinted, covered the moon—
You see, I’m not as small
             as you might think.


Lindsay Adkins is a recipient of the 2018 Amy Award from Poets & Writers and the 2011 Phyllis B. Abrahms Award in Poetry. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Frontier Poetry, Sugar House Review, The Southampton Review, Typehouse Literary Magazine, Sequestrum, Muse/A Journal, The 2River View, and others. She is currently an MFA candidate at Stony Brook Southampton.

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