Personal Statement: Foraminifera

by Danielle Weeks

I am from the kingdom of what I am not,
shout and lung, a shell that stays hidden
in the body. I am not the girl who stopped
breathing when she climbed the cemetery
wall. I am the way you draw the invisible:
Here is a thin dotted outline. Here is light
without sugar. All you have to do is darken
the spaces around me, the places my body
cuts through the fill. Like a drinking game
where we sit in a circle, count our fingers,
and I tell you all the wild human places
I’ve never been. And even then, I drink
to the decimal. I am too afraid of spilling
out of my body, trying to think through
a cotton distance, covering up mirrors
as I go. I was never the pretty daughter
but that’s not why I can’t see my face.
I have always been a stranger waiting
for someone to tell me if I have passed
the test, if I have learned how to laugh
correctly, check my watch, say goodbye.

Danielle Weeks received her MFA in poetry through Eastern Washington University’s creative writing program. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Columbia Poetry Review, cream city review, The Gettysburg Review, Third Coast, and Yemassee, among others. Her poem “Human Uses” was chosen as the winner of Atticus Review’s annual poetry contest in 2018.