Gabrielle Martin: My False Body
Celiac Disease in a Gluten Free Bakery
Inside it was
dim, & I am unsure
if the man waiting was
created that moment just for me –
solid, bearded, so quiet that I forget
to check for a baker’s hands.
He asks if I want something
special & I almost ask about
his hands – were they always
so large, & I couldn’t even see
them but I knew:
huge, hammer-like, meant for kneading
a kind of intimacy for the self
& one other
& the other was once yeast.
Or lack of it, normally so obvious
imitation cakes & breads,
tasteless imposters clamoring
To fix this false body.
My false body wants
to get rid of me,
I can smell it in the flour
mixed in sawdust
& my grandmother’s hands
covered in flour.
The only light filters in from the window
& it was already a gray day.
& I am wondering if this
miracle bread could heal me
too – if I could adapt despite the
descendancy of thousands of
years of wheat, impossible bread
to remind me of the disease,
that robs me of my lineage, could the
baker’s thick hands knead me
into something more whole?
Gabrielle Martin lives in Philadelphia. Originally from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, much of their formative years were spent shucking corn. Their work has appeared in Flyway Journal of Writing and the Environment, The Machinery Magazine, and Moonchild Magazine. Find them on Twitter @crabbygabie