Seagulls peck away at forgotten remnants.
A knot of women gossip and giggle
as they admire the young man up the shore
performing pullups, sweat rolling down
the lines of his back. Two men walk by
holding hands, sharing a kiss
before the sunset. A woman relaxes with
an ******-mystery-thriller and a
Jennie of Morris Muscat all for herself.
And an old man lies on the sand, ****
and propped on his elbows, his toes tickling
the rising tide as he stares out into the sea.
He always hated his body. Hated being
underneath his skin, his fat, the hair
on his back, his inadequacies. This old man
plans to die here, in this new land, his senior
getaway. But at least he will spend his
final days at this beach, wetting his feet,
taking in the rising moon’s cool breath.
And he’s around people who understand
his need for freedom, who wouldn’t
make him feel ashamed for being him,
for just being born human.
A young man arrives, staying in the backshore.
He strips to his boxers and hesitates,
looking towards the waves for strength.
He then throws them off and plops down,
holding his knees to his chest, a smirk on his face.
by Aleksander Mielnikow
(Alek the Poet)
Though the content of this poem was developed within the dark confines of my mind, it was in part inspired by, i_weigh, Sam Smith, and Marie Southard Ospina. As someone with rather extreme, played-a-small-part-in-my-four-suicide-attempts level of body image issues, I'm hoping I can go from the shameful young man to the validated old man by the time I'm dead… I mean, not the young stud doing pullups, I can't do those. I've done an 1000lb leg press, but pullups? You crazy?! But enjoying that dessert wine and a book? That I can dig.