Sal Kang

The Orange Has Body Image Issues

The Orange has Body Image Issues
after J Jennifer Espinoza

Sometimes, when you pull me close & tell me
you could be the one, I antagonize the word love.

I measuretape my width against the creases
of your hands. There are so many things I don’t

want you to see in detail: this reptilian, patchy
skin. These white strips clumping, unattaching

from my scalp. When disrobed, I’m little more
than a marigold mess of pulp & goo. I can’t make

your mouth water every morning without fail.
Sometimes, when you compare me to the sun,

a part of me still feels afraid because that doesn’t
come in bite-size. Sometimes your smooth kiss

feels like a fork stab in my thigh. I don’t know
how else to tell you that I struggle to love myself,

but morning comes, whether you love yourself
or don’t. & When you knowingly embrace me in

the light, no matter the number on the scale,
when you hold me, dripping pus & all, & feel

the need to thank mother nature, for once I feel
grateful that I’m not two-dimensional. For once

I feel like I can love & save some for myself.

"sonnet for birds of paradise" by Sal Kang

Sal is a professional sluggard and occasional writer. Their work has been published in Canvas Literary Journal, The Rappahannock Review, and Yes Poetry, among others. They spend most of their free time sleeping and rewatching Bo Burnham specials.