Skip Navigation


Sarah Phung


I don’t shop at Levi’s anymore,

too many empty promises:

soft, silky, smooth, barely denim


Your jeans weren’t smooth enough

for the kind of rubbing you liked,

zipper scratching like liquid fire


on my hips, legs, stomach

Scabs from sharp ridges on soft flesh

on my bones


(in my bones)


Blood stark against pale skin,

skin that never reached the light of day

before us


(before you)


I used to stare in the mirror,

shower water running to mask muffled cries,

eyes wide and screaming,


trace my fingers over the blood

I don’t see myself anymore —

you’re there


(you’re there even when you’re not)


I used to dream in cotton, polyester, lycra

but now I just want you to change your jeans

before you touch me again.