Cecilia Savala



The man behind the booth sizes me up, considers my body: wide shoulders, natural brows, and thick calves; my demeanor of direct eye contact, athletic stance, almost perfect posture. He tags me masculine in a minute. The type to rate your figure on a scale of one to ten – from a metal folding chair on Main Street, he stretches: So where do you work out? He crosses his arms, assesses my height, my hairline.


Behind the counter at the truck stop, the small town clerk overlooks my lithe friend’s long blonde hair and childless hips, instead evaluates the green and purple knit permanently across my chest. You like frogs? I’d asked for it. Invitation engraved in tattoo ink and stretch marks. My body exists as temptation. Connect-the-dots: marred femininity – unwanted, undeniable. Uncovered equals available.


Wrapped in beige, lace-covered metal and elastic – more function than fashion – from the intimates department at Sears. At school, older boys in blue jerseys, boys with cars, boys with girlfriends call me Twin Peaks, call me Triple D. They don’t look me in the eye. Daddy calls me Mija, says I’m built like a brick shithouse, later tells me to quit lifting so much, insists – Men don’t find muscles attractive.

About the Author

Cecilia Savala is originally from the Midwest but currently writes from the desert of Tempe, Arizona where she is an associate poetry editor of Hayden’s Ferry Review and the 2023-2024 Marvin Fisher Scholar at Arizona State University. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in The Boiler, Sheila-Na-Gig, and The Underground Review. Follow her on Instagram at @ceciliasavala.