On Being Fat

A lumpy potato with spots, folds, and flappy bulging flops

Stretch marks roam across my breasts and under my arms

I do not wear sleeveless shirts or a bathing suit

Pools and hot tubs elude me

No one is looking because I am invisible

But just in case they are, I hide my body

I do not dare put my body on display

No skiing or horseback riding or anything that requires me to

Squeeze my unruly form into something that might not fit

I would rather die than be called out on it

I never fly if I have a choice

If I do not, then I fold myself up as small as I can be

So no one has a chance to say I’m taking up more

Space than I should be — disdainfully side-eyeing me

If I have to eat in public, I make sure to eat something

Appropriate for large women to eat

Salads, grilled chicken, vegetables, water, and napkins

Cover my mouth to make my presence tidy since my body isn’t

Every angle is unflattering; double chins, wrinkled flesh

I avoid bright lights; direct sunlight is not my friend

I do not like being photographed

I do not like family gatherings or being scrutinized

Doctor visits and the scales they make you stand on each time

Clothes shopping is a chore and I desire no more

Accessories to drape from my undesirable form

I feel obliged to hug the wall when passing someone

I feel compelled to give up as much space as I can

To help others around me fill up as much as I can give up,

Which is never enough being fat

My bulges and lumps are offensive

Pizza, French fries, cheeseburgers, soda,

Doughnuts, cake, chips are not food for the fat

We learn this from thin society; we learn it from jokes,

Movies, books and all forms of communication

Our respite is one another

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