Attention: People With Body Parts is a new international project that encourage people to celebrate body parts and their connections to ourselves and to others. The moving movement started this summer as the creator, Lexie Bean, collected letters from folks who have written to one of their body parts to unpack how different bodies are layered and connected—but far from equal and whole. The book version of this project was released in October, and is now available on Create Space and Amazon [ed. note: only on the US Amazon site].
To increase the accessibility of the project, an online submission based initiative has been launched! If you’re interested in adding a love letter/treaty/oath/manifesto/poem to one of your body parts, please see the requirements below to join the movement! All bodies are welcome.
Your piece should focus on one body part. Feel free to explore its relationship to other body parts and/or your body as a whole, or even it in relationship to others’ bodies.
It can range anywhere from one paragraph long to three pages double spaced
First person narrative
Remember: it’s a letter to yourself, not about yourself.
Feel free to write more than one!
Send all submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. (please include your name, prefered pronouns, and city.)
You may also contact this email address if the writing process puts you in a dark place or if you would like general writing moral support. I will do my best to respond in a timely manner.
From the book:
Leg hair, leg hair,
I sometimes pretend you are fields of restless wheat that outline my home. Unshaven sheep and stray dogs of Lilliput graze around the mole three inches above my right knee. I sometimes see the sun rising between your trenches, your shine catches every ounce of life. Sometimes, I wish you grew into long braids so I could wrap friendship bracelets around every inch of my skin.
Other times: I catch others’ glances that loot your home and darken the trenches. The kind that burn my love letters and listen to the flames crack like a fallen branch.
Growing up, everyone undermined you to the long blonde pony-tail that lingered all the way down my
back—it was a friendship bracelet I could never attach to my skin. The porcelain doll, they called me. Across armed, cross legged, carbon copy beauty filed away. One who must never take up space; be touched but not touch. Third grade girls braided your competitor every time Ms. McClure’s class watched a movie. Boys, men, reveled in the dripping gold. I remained cross armed, but this time legs uncrossed. Placed in a line up, turned right to left, right to left until guilt fell from my palms. There you were, arrested, barred so close to my skin that you seemed unnatural. I left my shame at your roots, contained in places a porcelain doll should always keep covered.
I betrayed you. Love letters tied to the branches of my deforested legs fell to the ground. At the time, I did not realize you were my nest. My layers upon layers of brown sticks and wheat that made me believe that if I have a nest, I must have wings. I don’t belong in this broken shell of a home.
But you were gone.
I sit on the freckled sidewalk miles and years later. You bend in the humid air, bowing down to the grass mingling between the cracks. You, like the grass, would always come back. Through the cracks, through the scar tissue of my razor-cut legs. I trace my fingertips through your misplaced feathers, early mornings, and imperfections. Palms pressed into you like a lover that carves into a tree’s bark. Anyone could speculate with distance, but we know that your endless touch means something else, something more.
It means you and I have been close.
Closer than anyone else.