Praise for Things I Usually Don’t

by Sarah Mims Yeargin

after Gabrielle Calvocoressi

Emily who says I have
nice tits.
Tiger stripes on my thighs,
arms, hips, breasts,
the child who
out of concern
asks about them,
and the boy who traces
their purpleness
like roads on a map
showing him the way–
The boy who loves me:
the lessons I am about
to teach him because
he’s not willing to teach
himself, the cold shivers
in my spine
when he tells me
I remind him of the universe,
the sun and the stars,
his sun and stars. Sweat
in every crevice. The idea
that he’d give me the world
if he could, the idea
that the world might not be
so bad after all–My sister
made the volleyball team,
one brother is making friends,
the other plays the violin–
They’re not ruined yet.
My brother’s music fills
our home, a scratchy
rendition of Angels
We Have Heard On High,
it’s not even Christmas.
Mother in the kitchen
stirring a pot of tomato sauce,
humming and swaying,
telling me she’s worried
about my health.

Author Biography: Sarah Mims Yeargin is a junior at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities where she studies creative writing. She enjoys reading, rainy days, and of course, poetry.