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ODE TO MY BELLYBUTTON by Michael Cox-Maldonado

Really you are

the triumphant mountain

of my depression; the mound

of my father and his forefathers. Perhaps

the protuberance of Irish women too? Their hairy

beer belly, a knoll. Life! Vigor! The comfort of an

old Apache grandfather, resting their babes on a fat

pillow. A pillow of fat. Fatty pillows. The mixture

of corn syrup and cellulite and “hey-don’t-fries-

sound-great-right-now?” órale! I hate you

with so much love quaking that I need

the serotonin. The scar of my SSRI.

The birth of my children.

I want to lose you at

times and then

I am grateful

that I feel:

Hugged.

Dad

bod.

Pa.

Michael Cox, 30, lives in Los Angeles, and the preferred pronouns are he/him/they/them. He loves writing in the morning, when the sun is coming up, and before he goes off to work in the film industry.