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Watching the Winter Olympics at 3 a.m., and I Want to Win Gold

in something, anything, as my infant daughter drains

my left breast, and men on skis soar over a mountain peak

near Beijing. He’s worked hard, he’s here to win the gold!

an announcer says about the American skier.

An American myself, I see ambition and want

to spread it over a slice of rye and eat it fast.

The announcers remark on the skier’s straight form

as he ascends over a rooftop, and my own ambition

leaves through my nipples and enters my daughter’s

3 a.m. meal. I feel close to her during these feeds,

but also, it is early, and I have trouble opening my eyes,

even as the spectacle of human physical perfection

glides across my screen. As a child, I watched

the Olympics, and I’d feel inspired to do crunches

on my unmade bed, envious of the beautiful physiques.

I too wanted determination, ambition, a winning body,

a winning face. My mother tried to help me,

massaging my legs with baby oil to make them

shapely, pulling at my nose with her garlicky fingers

so it’d grow long, like her Spanish grandfather’s,

like a skier’s straightness landing on my face’s pale

slope. She wanted to grant me an American nose,

one that she believed might compete in the nose

Olympics, win gold. Nevertheless, my nose remained

round and wide and largely untalented, unable to tell

the difference between cilantro and parsley, thyme

and tarragon. When my daughter was two days old,

I overheard a relative say about her nose, Unfortunately

it’s flat, not an American nose, but what can we do? Thinking

about it now, this comment still hurts my heart,

my daughter, only hours out of the womb, already

woman, already a target. When she finishes her meal,

the American skier wins silver, not gold, and I wonder