oh, my god,
stop praising little girls for being "tiny" and "slender" and "willowy"
for being skinny.
because the scale offers validation
and eating cheetos and twizzlers and cookies and candy without gaining a pound becomes an accomplishment
a sharp and boasting laugh
ha, ha! i can eat all the **** i want
and still be /skinny!/
because a girl will feel pride
in her ballerina legs and bony joints
in her best friend wishing she were as small.
because "skinny" stops being an adjective
and becomes a definition.
because being skinny becomes
owning stacks and stacks of size zero jeans
but ******* and shimmying and squeezing your *** into them
(god forbid you buy a size two.)
skinny becomes looking flat in the midsection
but only if you eat triscuits for lunch that day
becomes seeing the outlines of individual ribs
but grabbing with a grimace the layer of fat and skin that covers them
becomes standing with legs spread apart and back tilted and eyes squinted
and looking maybe kind of like a forever 21 model,
until you sit and your thighs melt into huge endless expanses of tissue
becomes avoiding the bathroom scale because you told yourself two years ago you'd never get above double digits.
becomes knowing that most girls would **** for your body, or for the absence of your body - for the carved out spaces where flesh could be.
becomes feeling guilty, feeling ridiculous, feeling ungrateful
becomes never admitting to anyone that you feel anything but skinny.
You are not a work of art.
Has the Mona Lisa ever breathed? Did the Venus de Milo blush the first time a sweaty shaking nervous palm slid into hers?
The girl with the pearl earring never laughed so hard her stomach hurt. Klimt’s gold-shrouded lovers never heard a song so beautiful it was hard to speak.
You have lost yourself in the pages of a book. You have felt gravel shred the skin of your bare knees, cried when your goldfish turned belly-up in its glass bowl, extracted a sliver from your thumb. Last summer when the night seemed to stretch a million miles in either direction you sat in the backseat of your best friend’s ****** car, windows open, your eyes closed as the music and the soupy August air washed over you.
When you took that painting class you studied the swirls and whorls of Starry Night and traced the careful strokes of a master painter. What your teacher never told you to do was stare at your eyes in the mirror and do the same.
You spent all those years in awe of the lounging picnickers formed by millions of miniscule spots so close together they formed a whole. You never marveled at your own skin, at the pores and goosebumps and freckles that make up your flesh.
You are more than marble. You are more than brushstroke. You are soul and sweat and skin and blood and life. There was something so important that the greats always failed to capture: that awful, aching, breathtakingly beautiful thing keeping your eyes blinking, your synapses firing, your heart beating and feeling.
You are not a work of art. You are so much more than that.
in the beginning, they say
we first rose from the dust of comets and craters
and walked on trembling, spindly legs –
there were four, to be exact, and four arms
and two faces and two beating hearts.
but when the high ones on gold thrones realized
how powerful beings of blood and bones could be
Zeus stretched forth his mighty finger
and sliced limb from limb, chest from chest
left two broken halves aching for the warmth of the other.
and so humans were sentenced to roam the earth,
reduced to mere fractions
for someone to quench the unquenchable,
to satiate space once occupied.
a once glorious empire straining to touch the feet of gods
doomed to feel the magnetism of missing parts
there is an numbness in your bones
and a black hole behind your ribs.
a lump in your windpipe that feeds on cold bedsheets.
your fingers fumble to find heat
to smooth too-long hair and brush inked skin
your eyes repine to fall upon the One.
but don’t you understand?
you are not fated for isolation
you do not exist to suffer.
a person is not a sliver or a part
a complement to be complemented
the stories are lies and you cannot yield to them.
you were born as one
as you were meant to be one.
your soul is intact.
you are not shattered.
don’t you know that you are whole?
Love is born into every human being: it calls back the halves of our original nature together; it tries to make one out of two and heal the wound of human nature. – Plato’s Symposium, c. 382 BC
you and I are alike
excavated from our homes time and time again
breaking down walls in the hope that one day
there will be too much rubble to clear.
we are full of leaking helium
our tails dragging along the ground
in search of a resting place
we clutch our old dreams in our fists
and we confide our hurts in the dark when we should be asleep
the only difference is
while I was in love with a feeling
you were in love with a girl
and you carry her in your ribcage like your last gasp of oxygen
hitting your feet against the pavement again and again
to loosen the image of her smile
in the fifth grade
we whispered oaths with wide-open eyes
the decaying gums of a chronic smoker
and the **** addict's exposed ribs and bleeding scabs
burned into our retinas
but they never thought to warn us
of the dangers of warm brown eyes
and a smile like floodlights
of ragged breaths in a window seat
and the drug that his hands can be
I want you to rip the messy sutures from my stitched-up heart and
I want to love you with my chest wide open.
I want the icy air to whisper across my bared arteries and scoop the black from my lungs
I want you to kiss me so hard blood runs down my teeth.
I want to taste the salty crimson on my tongue and know
I am still breathing, that
I still have a pulse.
I want your eyes to burn holes in my skin & the cauterized nerve endings to emit a single sharp scream
I need your sweaty palms to take away the sting.
I want you to wake me from this gray unending dream.
I know meteorites always hit the sun or crash to earth, but
I want our comet to blaze through the night sky for a few bright seconds before the freefall.
I will ignore the craters you'll carve from my bones.
I will end up lying in a hospital bed with skin grafts and bleeding bandages, but
I want the rose-tinged words that will leak from my eyes like saline-tipped blades.
I want to slowdance with cyanide.
I want to tiptoe on a razor-littered sidewalk.
I want to swim with sharks;
I want to dip my hand in fire;
I want a gradual descent from a cliff with a tattered parachute;
I want to toss my heart into your freckled arms.
I want your fingers around my neck before
I realize it.
I want you to destroy me.
I want your smile to eat me alive.
— The End —