Hannah Kucharzak
ANXIOUS DIVA



My body: the most public yet
of my many humiliations.
Shame manifest as flab
that I’m convincing myself I should
love, I should touch, as though

it is money, my lovely
lottery lumps. Now accepting plastic:
Discover, American Express corporate.
Now enduring: street harassment, honey,
lemon, water. When I call out

sick, it’s like, what—
dress someone else’s hands up
like mine and take a picture?
Every woman needs a body
double, a second body to shove

her trauma onto. A pack mule.
Anxious Diva, will you carry
my mnemonic corpse? Hold still
and brace your shoulders.
Don’t move, I’ll grab the shovel.

(Are you disgusted yet? Go ahead,
look away with your brothers.)
My body grows larger every time I
suppress a memory. The overdeveloped
woman, the largest capital venture.

I will not invest in my body.
Anxious Diva will not
invest in my body. Hold that
pose, steady, pivot toward the light
—there it is! We got the shot.





ANXIOUS DIVA





I know what a man looks like when he wants
to play games quietly. Anxious Diva,

I eat his words like saltwater taffy. Fraudulent Queen,
I remove my aptitude from its waterproof case. Emergency
Goddess, confiscate my finger from the replay button!

I showcase my lips, and my hysterical self
has already come. The mirrored crystal glass
on the bedside table shows a gossamer child.

Diva lied to me about seduction—
and here is the truth, the driest eureka:
I’ve lured myself into the man’s arms.

How addictive, to use my body
to teach myself to love him, his little narcotic.

Obsessed with the tremor of his mouth
into glad ruination, seeing to it as my job.

Commence my auto-assassination.

Dreams have never been so bereft,
my waking life defined by his presence
whenever I can get it, however often—

I’m contaminated and licking the wounds swollen.

I’m sleepwalking to and from the edge
of the bridge, toying with the idea of the jump.

My question is pitiful: who allows me to stay?
My lily white drama, my fitful sleep.

Digging through myself to find blame—

this was where my scent originated, here is
where I store my foolishness, my ability
to fall and fall.

Which is your favorite part of me? I will destroy it.





Hannah Kucharzak is a poet and visual artist living in Chicago. Her poems have been most recently published, or are forthcoming, in TYPO, Pleiades, Pinwheel, and Ghost Proposal.