On Your Shrinking

you look at yourself in those mirrors on the walls of the bathrooms in the mall sideways now,
sucked-in cheeks, and I remember
that crop-top you bought, that crop-top, a scale for your chest and your waist, a promise
but you threw it out yesterday,
tag and all from the last eleven months because it took you a while,
a long chain of missed meals and feigned burps, to get there
and that cruel crop-top allowed, after eleven months of waiting and ‘controlling’,
allowed the moonlight to still dance with the new shiny stretch marks on your waist
the tag from the reject pile mocking you,
reflecting the number that you skipped ice-cream dates and pizza parties to save up,
to save up for this crop-top you dreamed you’d one day slay
what a shame, you invited the chain to choke you till you coughed your happiness away

every grumble in your stomach was a step away from this cage, a step towards ‘control’, a step full of pain, unimaginable pain, but
but, well, at least your jawline and your collarbones are now
nearly as sharp as the silver knife that offered you its company while you stared at your kitchen door with empty eyes
and turned your hollow torso away as it extended its warm, welcoming hand of friendship
with laboured ease

your fight wasn’t with your mum over the sugar in your cereal every breakfast every morning,
it wasn’t with your favourite cheesecake
you’re battling with your own body and your head,
they’re screaming as society triumphantly plays divide and rule and
you’re terrified and confused and just sit, crying, hoping
that the tears rolling down this little child’s cheeks will be enough
to shut both the sides up and have them retreat, or better,
make peace
just a child

fast forward four months, and hey, this is a weird feeling,
you’re seeing your ribs up close for the first time in your sixteen years of owning them
the lunch bell triiings in your nightmares every night and
you’ve now recognized that group of friends that doesn’t care about you enough to check what you’re eating,
whether you’re eating

maybe if you would just look at how your eyes become stars every time you smile,
you wouldn’t scold that little lock of hair beside your ear
for failing this once to cover up
the second little chin that makes an appearance every time
someone or something lights up your face
because your face lights up!
you are the sun.

look past, please, your stomach bulging over your belt,
and at the book that you bent over to pick up to give to the boy whose things those mean, mean girls and boys
knocked out of his arms,
look at his lips mouth thank you, thank you, you angel

your body, darling, is not you
those boys and girls, perhaps, whispered to your head to never be kind to you
but maybe you only need to be the beautiful, gorgeous person you are,
let your body feel as lucky to be your coat as you once felt unlucky to be its seed.
teach your body that it only encases the magic that is you
and has every reason to be so, so proud
you’re that many cubed centimetres more beautiful, concentrated.

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12 thoughts on “On Your Shrinking

  1. If the human race was coming to an end, and I had the chance to convey something to the generations that were to take our place, this would be it. Beautifully written, amazingly clear, and wonderfully thought provoking. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel it like free thought. Nicely done!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So much emotions comes through reading this beautiful poem. I’m so happy to have encountered a poet like yourself, I was seeking poetry from other bloggers for a long time and this is by far, the best one I’ve read. Congrats on this one, I wish you all the best and a good day!

    Benjamin Lessard – Living Life to Explore

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “what a shame, you invited the chain to choke you till you coughed your happiness away”
    haven’t heard such a powerful line in a long time. love this!

    Like

  5. I’m not sure why it’s only hit me now that you are among my favourite writers…it just hit me now as I read this–the second post today. This is absolutely incredible…the message and delivery is so powerful and masterfully communicated…I love the way the way you write/express yourself. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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