Poem by Trish Hopkinson & Art by Lisa Marie Vlietstra

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.