Poem by Trish Hopkinson & Art by Lisa Marie Vlietstra
Bodies are Secrets,
the softer spots, where the skin gives
way like an overripe plum,
the inside nooks of my elbows,
the backs of my knees, behind
my ear lobes—tender in pursuit
of pleasure, timid to the touch.
A secret is bone,
the rock-solid, where skull hides
just beneath my scalp,
the knuckles of my toes and fingers,
my hips—all the joints that knock
and crack—yet, nothing
that a drop to concrete can’t break.
Like sweat, secrets
are clammy as hands leading in, smooth
roundness of tongue and cheek,
eyes in their sockets, the turn
of my nose and tunnel of my ear
remind me that I have kept others out—
their scents, sounds, surprises.
A secret is tepid,
the warmth where my thigh brushes
my other thigh, the caress
of my arms against my torso,
my ribs and pelvis protecting the sacred,
reminding me that I have let others in—
their compliments and criticism, their bodies.
A secret means vulnerable.
Art by Lisa Marie Vlietstra
Trish Hopkinson is a poet, blogger, and advocate for the literary arts. You can find her online at SelfishPoet.com and provisionally in Utah, where she runs the regional poetry group Rock Canyon Poets . Her poetry has been published in several lit mags and journals, including Tinderbox, Glass Poetry Press, and The Penn Review; and her fourth chapbook Almost Famous was published by Yavanika Press in 2019. IG @trishhopkinsonpoet Twitter @trishhopkinson
Lisa Marie Vlietstra, is a visual artist and activist, using performance, photography, video and writing to translate her ideas. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, and her Masters on experimental filmmaking at the Netherlands Film Academy. After finishing her Masters, she moved to Andalusia with the goal to start an artist residency with a focus on female artists collaborating with (young) women from the area. Self and all Colors – is an ongoing performative series of self-portraits in the rural environment of Andalusia.