Skinny Love


I loved warm bread, still do, without the abandon.
Nothing scared me.
Salty salami, fried chicken, turkey sandwiches at noon.
My freedom. Baby fat and chubby cheeks.
Funnel cake at the state fair.
Eggs on toast, chocolate chip pancakes at the IHOP.
Such a good eater, they all said.
Pixie cut, with bangs. Loved gazing into the mirror.
Mac and cheese from the box, mushroom pizza on Friday night. 
My childhood.
Bikinis that flaunted my little round sphere of self love.


Then the clock increased it's hold.
No more meat. Ramen from the pack, peas. Menstruation.
Still some chub from the glory days. No more breakfast.
Cereal at dinner, a handful of dried mangoes.
Very sweet, leathery on my tongue. Heavy head.
The sun went down earlier and earlier.


I nibbled.
On good days, a grilled cheese with tomato, after a workout.
Bad days, the toilet bowl. Watery eyes.
Can you wrap your fingers around your wrist?
A blood vessel burst under my eye, 
and the pain was a reminder of the shame.
Always the shame.
3 cups of coffee and the ruler. The treadmill, the squats.
The mirror was not my friend. 
I thought of salami and knew it was for the best.


Now it is in between the sphere and the line. A curve.
Now it is neither meat nor mangoes.
Now the mirror is a weary acquaintance.
Now it beckons to me. But still I am scared.
I will always be scared. It is there in my eyes.
And my thighs.

-R


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