Caught Between Pain and Pleasure

Pomegranate on blue plate
Art by Kirsten Hemrich

The vaginal dilators I had ordered, per the instructions of my physical therapist, arrived at my apartment in a perfectly normal-looking box, as if they weren’t sold by, a site that has my eternal gratefulness for coming up as “unspecified merchant” on my bank account statement. I kept them under my bed for two weeks, a reincarnated childhood monster that I waited to go away until I couldn’t stand the guilt of leaving sixty dollars’ worth of a medical device under my bed. I opened the box for the first time.

Letter from the Editor

hand drawn flower
Art by Kirsten Hemrich

Welcome to a New Year!  In January, we push ourselves to resolve new paths and fresh ways of doing things. This could mean anything, from going for a run every once in a while, to picking up our journals and meditating on each day. It could be reconnecting with an old friend, or finally getting yourself out of a toxic relationship that has been bringing you down for years. For me, this means a 7th attempt in just as many months to give up eating pizza in my clean sheets. It’s getting out of hand.

an apology to my body

Vase with wilting flowers
Art by Kirsten Hemrich

an apology to my body

*Trigger Warning: content contains themes concerning disordered eating

i stare at you in the mirror and
my fingers creep down your edges
what once were curved like 
rolling hills on the skyline are now 
flat like razed earth and hard in places 
i hadn’t felt before 

i don’t know when you started shrinking 
it happened so rapidly last year but
somehow i didn’t see it til 
i came across a picture taken 5 months prior


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