Oct/Nov 2015 Poetry

Blackheads Exist

by Divya Rajan

Image courtesy of NASA and the University of Arizona

Image courtesy of NASA and the University of Arizona

Blackheads Exist

Deformability is an inherent property of cells. —Jochen Guck

Ms. Rahaan, I'm not sure how to put it.
There's nothing to be concerned about.
But you've really... aiwly skin. —A helpful spa attendant

Like any other imperfection, it has a circumference
A glaring opinion staring at you
An open tongue
A deciduous secretion
Caked debris, craters
You know the rest

Hold onto your hat and brace yourself.
Try not to think too much about the diagnosis.
Try not to think about your cells, floating around in hot aiwl.
Try to be smug about it.
Open up your mind. Count the sheep. Breathe in.
Imbibe all of the goodness in Clorox lavender fragrance. Then breathe out.
Release. There you go.
Think about pastries, feathery light pastry crescents filled with hot apricot jam.
Be happy, happy that you dyed your hair black.
Try not to think about how you don't really write letters.
Feel the love, love surge out of you like a sun.
It is heaven to be liked for myself alone. Sing that to yourself.
Everything else sits in this frame of correctness.

An extractor'd know where to begin, you say?
Lisa'd agree. She's the helpful spa attendant. On the non- surgical table,
Lay in askance, the following: extractor, cotton doused in rubbing alcohol, blackhead dissolving gel, sonicator.

Molecular identifiers are equalizers. They do not differentiate between cells.
Enlarged pores are the sole culprits.
I lay still, back splitting open at my feet.
Extraction is a painful art.

Phrases in italics have been excerpted from Sylvia Plath's letters to her mom.


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