This is an essay I wrote a couple years ago that I have recently started reading/performing at local poetry readings.
I Ate This
I ate this: Rage, disappointment, fear, blood, bile, hope, and money.
Consumption was king over confidence, adventures, fun, risk, courage, the notion that anyone could love me. I'm busy eating. Come back later.
The blood of the slaughter is on my hands and I want to be washed clean.
Take from me this pain, this prison, this undefinable sense of who I am. Take back calories, measurements, shame, and every diet I was ever on. Take back the Overeaters Anonymous meetings. Take back weakness; I'm here to fight.
Take back the seamstress who asked where my waist was. Take back overpriced clothing and the notion that I should just keep covered up. Take back the priest who asked with chagrin when I was going to do something about my weight.
Take back the taunts, the look of fear in people's eyes as I walked towards them. Take back the feeling of a steering wheel pressed into my stomach. Take back the hours I spent in movie theaters with cup holders digging into my legs. Take back the fat shrink who professed to specialize in adolescent obesity.
Take back the times I had to ask for a chair with no arms, the times I heard the telltale snap of a fracture in progress. Take back every time I apologized and felt my heart tear. Take back every time I felt I had to stand up for every fat person on the planet. Take back feeling like a sack of loose flesh and laziness who never ate a vegetable or exercised. Take back every handwritten diet that was slipped into my locker in high school. Take back being out of breath after climbing stairs and being turned down for health insurance. Take back the memory of being a teenager who did nothing but lie. Take back self-loathing, negative attention, and the years I spent avoiding eye contact.
Take back the doctor who told me I was "the tough kind of heavy." Take back the tears I cried on the last flight I took. Take back every time I snuck food out of the kitchen, every time I used my fat as an excuse for why I didn't go to that concert, get that date, get that job, or that bit of affection I craved. Take back disassociating when I binged. Take back every conciliatory cocktail I drank as the hot blonde's fat friend.
Take back 30 years of wanting seconds, taking seconds, ordering enough food for four, and the pained and bloated feeling of being too full. Take this skin so that I may bleed, so that I may release this awful ugliness into the universe to be destroyed forever. Take from me the worst of everything so I can see myself for who I really am: blood and bone, soft flesh and sharp bite, stung to swelling, a girl who just wants one dance with you.