Student work: My body asunder

by Darwin Rose Riviere

Excerpts from her Creative Writing Senior Thesis, “My Body Asunder.”

Excerpt 1.

I am full of self.

I am in love.

I am in anger and hate and the passionate pounding of bodies against cold white walls.

I am in the center of all that I am.

This is my own bible of identity and imperfection and endless parables.


Excerpt 2.

I try to write but the only thing speaking right now is my fist and it keeps clenching and I keep tensing and no amount of nihilism or activism has saved me yet.

Is there anything that will help? My brain is trapped in a fogged mirror. My thoughts the venting steam of a shower.

I am losing time.

I am suffering from saudade. The old longing for something that I never knew, and that will never be.


Excerpt 3.

Gender is a powerful social illusion. It forces traits onto me that I would never ascribe myself.

It ascribes to me trauma I don’t have and erases the trauma I do.


Excerpt 4.

I will close in behind doors and desks. I will shell over myself like a turtle. I will startle at the slightest touch.

I recoil from everything that is meant to open me like scissor blades.


Excerpt 5.

My father taught me to yell. And he taught me to fish.

These are the things that poor parents teach their children. They teach us how to scream beneath the rubble of a constantly ending world. They teach us how to feed ourselves.



Darwin will be sharing more of her creative writing at the Arts Open House next Monday, November 11, alongside several other creative writing and art students. Interested in pursuing a degree in the arts? Meet faculty, attend a workshop, hear and see what our art students are creating here at Marylhurst. Learn more.


Darwin Rose Riviere is an English Literature & Writing student at Marylhurst University who loves poetry, creative non-fiction, and the extended literary analysis of Marvel comics. She will never miss an opportunity to gush over the talents of her professors, fellow students, or favorite TV show writers.


Photo: See-ming Lee via Flickr, Creative Commons license