Jocelyn Ulevicus

The Thing We Don’t Talk About is Given a Name: Survival

When I woke up this morning,
I thought: how much reality has

to be set aside in order to live / I
reach down to feel my ribs and

then / my hipbones to see if they
are exposed. There is more fat

covering my ribs than a week ago,
mental note. I adjust my legs so

they make a figure four: the right
leg extending straight outward and

the left leg tucked in a piqué position
like / I used to do in ballet class as a

little girl—that always does the trick.
Because then I can feel the right

hip bone, which protrudes more
than the left / whenever I touch

it, whenever I feel its curve, I always
feel like I’ve won something, like

the change is really happening, like
I am metamorphosing right there

in my bed, so I could say that
everything I’ve done, everything

I’ve endured has been worth it, it
hadn’t been for nothing—nothing.

Each thing I did, each decision I’ve
made had meaning, had a purpose,

and touching the bone this morning,
smug with self-awareness, listening

to rain pelt down onto the rooftop,
that’s when I realized that everything

I’ve done and will continue to do is to
re-invent the past / so I could escape it.

Jocelyn Ulevicus is an artist and writer with work forthcoming or published in magazines such as the Free State Review, The Petigru Review, Blue Mesa Review, and Humana Obscura. Working from a female speculative perspective, themes of nature and the unseen; and exit and entry are dominantly present in her work. She resides in Amsterdam and is currently working on her first book of poems. To see her artwork and her cute cat, Pilar, visit her on IG @beautystills.