there is a picture in my living room
of my parents in their twenties, in sunhats,
there is a picture of my father holding me
when i was two years old.
there is a picture of my parents
on their wedding day.
there is a picture of me when i was
ten, eleven, twelve.
i’m seventeen now and
i won’t let my mother
take any of the pictures
i need to believe that, at one point,
this house was more than just
i was born on the second-to-last day
i weighed seven pounds, two ounces,
and it was ninety-nine degrees out.
four years before that, in 1992,
the officers who beat rodney king
within an inch of his life
five years before that, in 1991,
a cyclone in Bangladesh killed
138,000 people and made 10 million
ten years before that, in 1986,
a fire in a Los Angeles library
damaged more than 400,000
and on that day, april 29, 1996, i was born
and i’d like to pretend
that it was a go
The media doesn’t support a positive body image
because it’s not good for business.
They want us anxious and afraid
of seeing the numbers on a scale go up.
We’re not worth our weight in gold.
It’s what we don’t weigh
My first boyfriend, who panicked when I touched him
would say “I’m fat”
the way somebody says “I should have never been born.”
They want us spending our money
on designer jeans, instead of groceries,
on concealer and diet plans, instead of an education.
Please don’t starve yourself.
Believe me, I’ve tried
and your body will start to eat itself from the inside out and
if you let it
it’ll get to some valuable stuff.
they’ll only appreciate your body when it’s a corpse.
They won’t notice you
until there’s nothing to be noticed
they’ll mourn and wish for something
that is no longer
In the second grade, I learned that
grumbling and mumbling
about what I did
to deserve this mess
And my mother glares,
"When I planted you,
I put you deep in the dirt,
not to bury you alive,
but to teach you that
when the growing gets tough,
the tough gets growing."
Young, I am a bright star with small, pudgy hands for guiltless flower-crushing. Before even that, I am a wispy squall for food, unused to knowing anything but myself, and warmth, and hunger.
The concept of a hero is a natural progression from understanding speech. I am Me. I am the one all the stories talk about, born special, to whom both innocence and wisdom are possible. I am so great a part of my own self that I do not know it can be detached.
I am eleven, narrow-boned and alone in the red earth, when I first feel it.
A seagull slews out of the bright sky and pegs its beak to the stones, draws it up wriggling. I watch its gullet bob. My hand floats up to mirror the lines of its head against the air. There is a cry, and its eye is a pond of yellow fire staring at me, the air a storm
the memories we shared,
the lessons we learned,
the persons who cared.
Words gone unsaid,
the lives drifting apart,
my school life ending,
my true life given start.
Regret growing inside,
of the words left unspoken,
the lives I wished to touch,
my heart torn and broken.
Those friends so far away,
distant and grown mature,
my memories beginning to fade,
the life of my childhood a blur.
A familiar smile,
comes in to view,
my eyes begin to open,
thank God, it's you.
She frowned as she noticed that she didn't really know anyone else there. And, even worse, she didn't see any guys. It wouldn't be too easy to be social here, but she'd try. To her relief, it wasn't long before a very thin, very pretty girl with red hair came up to Sara and spoke.
"Hi," she said, "I'm Alex!"
Sara smiled and introduced herself. "I'm Sara, nice to meet you!"
"I don't know if this is just me," Alex said, "but, like, it seems like there's not really anyone I know here... I mean, I was invited on sort of a 'friend-of-a-friend' type basis, but I don't know anyone, and I don't really even know who invited me..." She glanced arou
Sasha always had a flat stomach due to her dance routine, but because of her new “activities” she started to develop a little pudge in the front. It wasn't a lot, but a layer of fat had slowly and surely started to grow over her once flat stomach. She never thought that her trim body could ever get fatter due to how slim she was when school ended. Oblivious to her belly getting chubbier she just continued her usual TV marathon routines and junk food intake.
“Honey, would yo
incandescent pixie dust and
sluggishly making its way through
a childish heart — wishing for one last chance
to spread her wings and soar to
when i turned five, i discovered the art of being alone.
i learned that there is no celebration song when you are twenty-three hundred miles from where you belong and your family has fluttered off into the sky. i was trapped at the foot of a stranger's bed, a salty ocean tide dripping down my face. though i had no candles to put out, i figured memories of a thirteen-year-old's cigarette smoke were substitute enough i wished california would fall into the sea so this desert would feel more home.
when i turned six,