Annual Well Woman Visit | Victoria Massie

My arms stretch to the heavens
lengthy torso
stunted by chicken legs

The nurse begged me
stand tall;
wall and back kissing;
head and neck reconnecting inward
like best-friend secrets.

“Five and three quarters”
It takes women in my family
incessant earth-moon rotations
for them to fall down
in love
with the sun
set within them.

They have hunches,
making nothing of it
until they see sermons
preaching on the mountain
atop their backside,

“I told you so.”

My ego died last year.

Today my eyes cried
light libations,
I finally shrank back into myself.
These family genes are fitting nicely.

I was her first
body on display
named healthy

Naming beauty
is not ethical.

They’d suspect we were
making educated porn
instead of inscribing history from within
onto a body without the will to resist
medical examination.

I await the day the doctor diagnoses me porn star.

The first time
I peed in the chimbudzi
without missing
my body flowed from chair
to thunderbolt pose
faster than the speed of light.

Standing just above the toilet seat
my spirit boiled up
warm as the Saharan sun
above an Augustun Malawi

It must have only taken
one and a half tries
to discipline my pelvis
to relinquish itself

for screening.


Victoria Massie is a Ph.D. student in Sociocultural Anthropology at UC Berkeley and a poet. You can find more information about her research and creative writing on her website. She tweets at @vmmassie.

Rachel Charlene Lewis

Rachel Charlene Lewis is a writer + social media editor, covering sex, identity, entertainment, and beauty. Her work has been published by Refinery29, Teen Vogue, SELF, Glamour, Autostraddle, and elsewhere. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @RachelCharleneL.