by Alison Leigh Lilly
how much I love each one of them.
For instance, take the girl in college
who wanted to be
and said you can’t love everyone
except in the abstract, and that’s
no good, really, hardly
love at all.
And how I loved
the tiny scratches on her arms
from when her pet iguana
went into heat each spring—the way
she fed him shredded lettuce—
and the steady sound of the pale green
strips of leaves quietly ground to a pulp
between his hard, reptilian teeth.
Alison Leigh Lilly nurtures the earth-rooted, sea-soaked, mist-and-mystic heritage of her ancestors through poetry and creative nonfiction. She is a columnist for SageWoman Magazine, and her writing has appeared in publications both in print and online. You can learn more about her work at: alisonleighlilly.com
Art by featured artist Osmyn Oree
Ever since I started photographing nudes I noticed a troubling pattern within the community of photographers in my hometown. Nudes and especially the nude female is often portrayed in a sexual or objective way. Fetishistic beauty and making women look ‘good-enough’ was something I believe detracted from photographing nude bodies. My photography aims to reclaim the nude body from such fetishizations and show that bodies, especially female bodies are far more important than just objects of beauty or intrigue. Each shoot I set out to make my photographs less about the nude and more about the meaningful portrayal of a person. I want to tell a story about the person through the photographs or give the viewer an insight into who the person is and make the nudity less about the eroticism or shock value and more about the universal sense of rawness and honesty.