I have spent my whole life
being a fat girl,
no matter what size I was
or how much I ate.
No matter how many of me
fit into a room
It didn’t occur to me that
I wasn’t stealing space
from anyone else
by taking more of it,
nobody’s edges were aching,
asking my body to be smaller
so that their’s could grow.
I can’t even think about
what a normal childhood would’ve tasted like,
one that didn’t revolve around food.
One of my friends told me that you
should eat to live, not live to eat,
but I think I have always missed that message.
Food has always been a punishment,
or a reward,
or an accomplishment,
or a phobia
food, has never just been food
and I have always been a fat girl
I can’t say that in elementary school,
I ever really heard my classmates call me fat
but I knew, by what they didn’t say,
that they thought it
something about being ten years old makes you way too honest.
They looked at me different
and on the days when my clothes don’t fit quite right around what other people would call my curves,
I can still feel 25 ten year olds
looking at me
with their eyes that painted me as a fat girl.
It didn’t matter
what I did in school
because I was only good despite my body,
not because I lit fires with the person living inside of it.
When I got to high school things weren’t really so different
until I lost weight
and then gained it back,
to lose it again, and gain it one last time,
and now I see weight as a see-saw
and you’re only having fun if you’re sitting on the end
that’s closest to the sky
but for the most part, I’ve always been at the bottom.
and in my years of sitting here on the down-end of a see-saw,
I’ve learned to just be thankful
that I’m at the playground at all.