Kelsey Bryan-Zwick is a Spanish/English speaking SoCal poet and artist with a B.A. from UC Santa Cruz in Literature/Creative Writing. She is the author of three chapbooks, the most recent being Watermarked (Sadie Girl Press). Disabled with scoliosis from a young age her poems often focus on trauma, giving heart to the antiseptic language of hospital intake forms. A Pushcart Prize nominee and founder of the micro-press BindYourOwnBooks, Kelsey’s poetry appears, or is forthcoming in Rise Up Review, Writing in a Woman’s Voice, Incandescent Mind, Right Hand Pointing, Lummox, The New Verse News, One Sentence Poems, and Redshift.
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If a Poem Was a Dress
Sometimes when I can’t find a happy way to see myself
like when I’m having a hard time getting out of bed
or figuring out how to get dressed for another day of it
I have to let go of me all together. I pretend it isn’t me
but a poem, a poem scrubbing its face in the morning mirror
a poem pulling up its socks, shocking the world in mismatched
fuchsia pink polka-dots and chartreuse zig-zag striped toes
a poem distracted as the cats curl, one by my feet, one up on
my lap, warm bundles of purrs, forgetting my makeup
forgetting to pin back my hair, forgetting to be.