If you’ve got it, flaunt it,
said a t-shirt my mother gave me,
but what did I have?

Tiny batteries in my breasts,
which hummed along, expectant.
I did and didn’t want to grow up

and into a woman
so I tore pages out of Mademoiselle
and the monthlies we found hidden

under our fathers’ medical journals,
photos I studied as I cut out a CV
of eyes, mouths,

legs, hips, lips, nipples.
What did I have?
Farrago messages,

tomboy’s body, irreconcilable gig
of what it meant to be “liberated.”
More nipples than clouds, more clouds

than faces, more faces than mothers.
I worked my way around each silhouette,
made a collage,

and shellacked the whole rig with glue
until it crazed, an amateur’s map
once but no longer kept pinned

beside the full-length mirror
out of which unrecognizable landscape
I sometimes stare.

Catherine Barnett
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