Crafted at Writing Woman: An Embodied Creative Writing and Ritual Experience led by poet & wise woman Elana Bell. This piece was inspired by Lucille Clifton.
Image by Antonio Paramo
My body’s fulcrum. Full breasts above. Strong hips below.
This belly. Plump, abundant, fleshy. It sometimes shrinks. It mostly grows.
Rounded mounds. Soft, pliable.
It contains the map to my innards, a log of my journey. It tells my secrets. Showing the world the ways I’ve indulged. Either out of happiness or loneliness, it doesn’t matter.
A chalice, holding my sorrows and longing.
A pillow, protecting my most vulnerable and hurting spots.
A decade ago it transformed into a big bowl of fluid that grew and birthed a beautiful flower. Nineteen moons later the miracle recurred.
This belly is often hungry, not for food. Craving comfort. Yearning for childhood sustenance and pleasures.
Hot tea with milk and honey. Eggs and toast. Roasted chicken baked for hours in the oven. Brownies and jelly jumbles.
This belly is deeper and more wise. Its waist no longer the size of a maiden’s.
When I listen to it I hear ocean waves. Undulating. Pulsing. Flowing movement.
This belly is thick. It grounds me. Sometimes its protection is safety. Other times a cage.
When I’m able, I relish in it’s expansiveness. The way it centers me, props me up.
This belly is strong muscle. A hearty core underneath layers of tenderness, deliciousness, and good loving.