Isibeal Owens

Strawberry Heart

And I find myself wondering if Ted Bundy
would find me stunning enough to behead.
My limp hair groomed by Cupid’s tongue; fatty thighs strung
up like ham hocks. And isn’t it my destiny to be edible? To be a blonde
tendril of September; the scent of gasoline
and mint along the highway? This is love, we were told.
The most beautiful thing you can be is a crime scene.
This is kindness in the form of gnashing incisors—Yellow gates
to pink pink carnage. My skin cracks during wintertime.
My lips bleed like an omen.
My grandmother once tied a blue sash around my church
dress. She patted my stomach like a sack of rice. You stupid
pretty thing. I pray you grow ugly enough to survive.

About the author: My name is Isibeal Owens and I'm 21 from Mobile, Alabama. I'm a sophomore in college. In my submission I've included four poems, one of which is more of a hybrid prose poem. A lot of my work touches on the female experience, trauma and recovery, and the way female-identified people often inherit their struggles.