In the painting, the woman is twisted and her body spirals like string. She glances at the viewer, her loose rolls of fat folding like pastries, dipping in and out of frame, her eyes glassy, her countenance reluctant, complaining—a young girl’s expression pasted onto oil. Perhaps she is fearful, or perhaps she is bored. Perhaps she is only a subject for analysis, like nineteenth-century history or the images in anatomy books. A girl stands in the gallery, studying the art. Without considering, her hand finds her stomach, pulls hard on the skin, holds its weight in her palms. She feels her own waist, follows the subtle fall. Things happen. The voice of a hummingbird before it hums. The girl knows already, but she glances back just to check. Jeez—I didn’t realize you were here. God, do you mind? She says annoyed, before pausing. She waves her hand, expecting to be left alone. Still, we continue reading.
Noelle Hendrickson is a junior at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah, and is pursuing a degree in English/Creative Writing. She previously served as Editor-in-Chief of UVU’s oldest literary journal, Touchstones. Her writing has previously appeared in The Allegheny Review and on LesbianHerstory.com. In her free time, she posts book reviews on Instagram @noelleandherbooks. Her full portfolio can be found at noellehendrickson.com.