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Baby Lotion

by Isabella Zaliagiris


Off-brand pink baby lotion over the cellulite on the backs of my thighs. My hands running over the curves of my hips back down the day old prickle of my shaven legs.

Off-brand: same quality, better price. My mother would be proud.

Pink: like those pink ruffles. Those mothafuggin pink ruffles. I love it.

Baby: it seemed cuter. Plus that’s what my friends called me in high school- ‘you big baby’- fair seeing that sometimes I was needy, whiny, dramatic. I’m not that way much anymore. I don’t have time to be a baby- I have shit to do.

Lotion: I don’t really even like lotion. It’s just something to do so I won’t have to make up my bed just yet- the one New Year’s resolution I’ve actually kept. Plus, my mother would be proud. ‘If you’re itchy then go put on some lotion.’ I’m always itchy but never put on lotion.

My mom let me sleep with her until I was 12. It would have been longer but she got remarried. My Eczema. I kept her up all night itching. She would get up and take off my pants- rub lotion over my tight thighs, over the slight hint of a curve beginning in my hips, until it soaked into my unshaven adolescent string bean of a leg.

I sucked my thumb until I was 12. I would have done it longer but I got braces and it wasn’t the same anymore. Every once in a while- I mean really maybe once every 2 years- I put my thumb in my mouth and for a split second the feeling of comfort returns. Then I get my fucking thumb out of my mouth.

I continue up my stomach- the slight bulge of my stomach that I’ve been trying to run off the past few weeks. Same path everyday. 1.45 miles. A mixture of walking and running. ‘Just run one yard farther today.’ Run more, walk less. Run more, walk less. Day 15. I ran the whole fucking thing. It was dark and it was rainy but I ran, I just ran. My mother would be proud.

I pump more lotion in my hands, glide over my breasts. Around the outer curve, over my nipple, lifting up to lotion the skin under the weight of my breasts. Lotion is good for scars so I’m glad this is how I’ve chosen to waste my time- my unmade bed in my peripheral.

Jeremiah wrote a poem about scars. It was a good poem and scars are a good topic to write a poem about. The unintended scars people carry that tell their story. Since mine were intentional and preconceived should I just call them tattoos? Maybe. But that might be offensive to those that slit their wrists and shit like that- I doubt they’re walking around calling those tattoos. And I doubt they’d think it’s cute to even compare self-harm to a boob job a white girl got at 19 with her parent’s money. Neither of these are polite to talk about so I’ll just keep these thoughts to myself. My mother would be proud.

Published inPoetryChapel Hill

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