whoso magazine’s first featured writer: Amber Coyne

My Body is an Alter

Ink drills into skin
Anchors sink into flesh
Needles pass stories
Through me
Carve into me

Christian eyes machetes
Murder me
Mutilate me

Bodies are temples
Jesus an eraser
Purity scrubs skin white
Honor your temple

you were mistaken
my body is no temple
my body is an alter
every line an offering

chiseled strokes plague skin
every curve an artist commandment
every wrinkle a part in the sea of color

I will sink rainbows into my skin
To cleanse away holy water
Poison masked as promise

turn flesh to testament of resistance
Needles to inscribe stories stolen
Peach pages waiting for calling

needles pass through palms
they sink into feet
colors transverse skin
Sacrifice to memory

Christian eyes set to crucify
Will find this alter covered
Blanketed in permanent protection
Sewn into skin altared

 

Appropriate Technology

Sometimes I wonder what it felt like
Chemo coursing through your veins
Was it like hot lava flowing
Circulating destruction death

Did you force smiles for my comfort
While poison tunneled pillaged cells

Burn your body inside out
Did you burn yourself

For me
For dad
For hope

To kill the invader
With an invader
To murder the murderer

They said it was appropriate technology
They cited statistics
They employed ethics
They beamed over a chemo room

Adorned with art
Leather chairs
Beachfront views

They masked the truth
Covered up a dirty little secret
With distractions

The cure is worse than illness
Who is the killer now

The chemo
The cancer
The medical industry

Sometimes I wonder
Would you do it all over again
Let every glass of cold water become
A agent of death suffocation
Let every meal become
A menu of bile of vomit
Let every brief walk become
A crippling marathon
Let every last minute
Be fraught with pain
With burning

Sometimes I wonder
Will I do the same
For children
My uterus has yet to meet
For lover I’ll kiss every morning
For faith I gave up the day you died
Will I burn myself for them

Was that fire for me

femme3Amber Jean Coyne is a masters of Public Health student focusing on LGBTQ+ heath equity with a minor in Queer Studies. She received her Bachelors of Science in Molecular Cell Biology from Sonoma State University in 2012 graduating summa cum laude. Amber is a writer and theatre enthusiast performing in such plays as The Vagina Monologues and The Class Menagerie. She is previously published in Language, Violence & Resistance (2014) by The Alter Collective and Queer Studies at Oregon State University.