big girl

I’ve spent years trying to forget that I buried you
beneath my skin, trapped you in each rolling hill
I’ve bulldozed into submission only to make our
body a strip-mall – concrete covering your sacred
ground and you into the poltergeist that’s never
stopped haunting my reflection. BIG GIRL, you
were always the proof of my many imperfections,
mounting mounds of evidence that I could never
float away no matter how swollen you got since
you were predestined to become my ever-failing
balloon, too heavy to be lifted by angel’s wings
thus you were forced to remain in this body as
devilish childsplay always making mischief of
mirrors, the demon I could never exorcise no
matter how much I exercised or restricted my
diet or embodied the void you were still always
too much sin purge so instead I would make you
my offering to false idols: plastic gods pictured in
magazine bibles that told me to carve you down
with imaginary scalpels, words from their Barbie
doll gospel that labeled you untamed marble and
wrote me into dotted lines, made me over-critical
cartographer charting the landscape of white girl
privilege into my brain and over my body until my
obsession with being perfect saw your smile fade
into a subtraction sign celebrating how many times
I could tell myself no and mean it until the scale
deceived me into believing I was its success story
headline reading, “Fat Girl Shrinks Into Nothing,”
while postscript lists side effects in illegibly small
font: panic attacks, sore throats, blistered lips, loss
of period, depression, incessant dark visions that
pictured me smashing my head to a bloody pulp,
ending in a gunshot, hanging from a meat hook
pierced through the middle of my skull, tarred and
feathered by the raven of my toxic inner monologue.
This was always how self-hatred made us fractions
of ourselves, turned our eyeballs into missile crises
escalating cold-hearted conflict that we were both
intended to lose, for hasn’t woman always won by
losing self-esteem, paychecks, dignity, surrendering
to unclean brainwashes: Hollywood endings proving
distress is always more profitable than health since
little girls are sacrificial lambs worthy of rescue by
future husband’s Godlike hands while BIG GIRLS
must play pillaged temple for attention, to earn the
salvation of a wedding dress she cannot fit into, but
this is the lie they preach to keep us from becoming
TOO MUCH WOMAN to be harnessed, TOO MUCH
VOICE to be silenced by “not good enough.” Thus
I have spent long enough aboard this faulty lifeboat
coping that has only ever wished to see me drown
for a moment of weightlessness. So for every BIG
GIRL who never received a just trial, whose murder
has been celebrated I offer these words to resurrect
you through the practice of self-love. It is to my 13-
year-old self, my inner child, I promise to replant
your seeds in my soul so my shallow-grave self can
become a forest that blooms in your honor, BIG GIRL,
I promise I will always create since this is your passion
possessing my pen, my paintbrush. Your worth is my
antidote, your courage my lion’s pelt, your lesson my
blessing that one day I will be worthy of your name.

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