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Rebuilt from Rubble

Published in Cipactli Journal

He is an architect of bodies, spewing messages through speakers, speakers sitting on sidewalks, sitting in bathrooms, sitting under pillows. Speakers counting the ways she is not enough. Counting the rolls on her belly, the wrinkles on her face, the dreams not yet met. The speakers replace mirror-facing eyes with daggers, blades slicing the body a part until it slims, fits, contorts just right. He is an architect of the body and he’s got hours and hours of ammunition firing through televisions. He’s learned to start when they’re young, young and wondering, young and not yet built from bricks thrown at their feet. He learns to break them down by pointing to a crack – a crack in the wall, a crack that never existed until it was split by his finger. Cracks that start small and spread like a virus living between walls, spreading and spreading until she finds a way to extract the source.

He is an architect of the body until she grows up to see his blueprints were all wrong. Until she rebuilds her monuments with kisses to the wrist, with loves notes to her belly, with gospel songs to sweets. He is an architect of bodies and she is a bulldozer to walls not deemed for her, for scales that can’t measure her, for words that won’t shame her. She tears down his scaffolding and paints her way back up as 12 to 22-year-olds watch her break down cities built upon myths of less than. They watch her sing her way to sunrise painting love notes on her body, painting love notes on the mirror, painting love notes on the sidewalk, so every time a young girl looks down in doubt she’s picked back up with words of worth.

He was an architect of bodies that died the day women decided his homes were no longer inhabitable for the rising, loving, living. For bodies that did not need fixing, for bodies that were so much more than bodies, for bodies that were painted birds flying above city limits, for bodies that are souls, for bodies that are futures, for bodies that are villages rebuilt through rebirth. For every body that never needed an architect to tell it was whole. For bodies that became mosaics rebuilt from rubble.

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