The 2016 Literary Supplement

Butterflies

Poetry ❖ Written by : Sophie Panzer

Hannah is sixteen, and she sees her friends begin to change their bodies. Nature has already given them breasts and hips, periods and pubic hair. Now they metamorphose on their own terms.

Taylor walks in the first day of school with her hair cropped close to her skull. Jen’’s cheeks hollow amidst rumors that she eats only lemon wedges and chia seeds. Isabel lifts her shirt in the locker room to reveal a mildly infected rose blooming in the small of her back.

Hannah’s hair is long, her skin unpierced. Her cheeks are round with puppy fat. She eats pot roast and knishes and potato pancakes cooked by a woman whose hair was once shaved, whose bones were once visible, whose wrist still bears the number tattooed on her wrist so many years ago.