Callista Buchen is the author of the chapbook The Bloody Planet (Black Lawrence Press). Her work appears in Harpur Palate, Puerto del Sol, Fourteen Hills, and many other journals, and she is the winner of the Langston Hughes Award and DIAGRAM's essay contest. She is an assistant professor at Franklin College in Indiana.
Woman: be permeable, be ocean, be habitat. Instead of woman, say starfish. Find a tide pool. New limbs in place of those you’ve lost (as if misplaced, as if not dead, as if not plucked from your body, as if not woman). Crawl away with what remains, sink, scale, absorb each place. Woman, cover your arms in starfish, wear them across your chest, latched into your hair, be invisible, be sea. Let the salt crack across your skin. Cradle the water, what flows in and back, watch for reflexes. There will be enough love, enough everything, they say in support group, there will be enough, but woman, woman, keep track of your arms.