I squeeze my middle, like fresh
dough that waits to be kneaded
into form. I can take the shape
of any womanly hourglass, if
I want, if I know how to mold me
just right. The squeeze, this routine 
pretend game where curves are lines
is now ritual. This sacred sacrifice
to cut off circulation, if I have to,
comes in a cloud of hasty,
whispered hopes. Just one more
button, one more inch.

I wonder if this is all part
of what being a woman means
or if I am something different,
something squeezed in between.
The mirrors don’t have answers,
just more questions and voices
that spill out dark smoke
in the back of my mind. If I can
make this one button slide in,
I wonder if it will be like sliding
a key into a lock. Perhaps I will
push open a door into someplace
I never thought I’d fit into.