Mihee Kim is an activist, writer, and artist that hails from New York and New Jersey, but now hones her craft in Oakland, California.
In the mirror I look at the places on my body that you’ve touched, seeing a foreign back. There are spots with abalone bruises or a singular scratch mark with no discernable pattern. I trace them with my eyes, remembering you. I’m at a mall in San Francisco,trying on whatever work out gear I think will make me want to go to the gym. There are folds riding my ribs to the center of my back, the kind that squish and make women and men who hate women cringe. I feel your fingers twisting and grasping the meat of that back, pulling and pushing me closer to you, using me as a handle and a hold. I think of myself bent in front of you, with you reaching down to grab nothing less than my belly,the softest and most vulnerable part of me. My core, the pieces of me that fill like water balloons. The parts I made sure were sucked and tucked in around Umma and in church,so it didn’t offend anyone’s sense of femininity. The parts that ached in correlation with how disappeared my family was at the time. The parts that burned silently from childhood into my teens. I craved milky relief. When I was 8 I thought I had a heart attack in PE. I thought living was feeling like you’re dying. You touched me with such curious fingers, searching the skin for memories. It was so delicious I couldn’t deny that nakedness was a good thing. A way to be opened to the past that wasn’t painful. A burn in my heart of a different kind.