My last name means â€œround,â€ it literally means â€œround,â€ and
usually what I say is
ha ha my ancestors clearly really loved pasta
and sometimes I pat my behind
with a proud little sort of a pat
and then sometimes I wink, or get close to winking
and then I grin
and then we move on to something else
and thatâ€™s it, itâ€™s over, itâ€™s over for now.
If I wear everything a size or five too big
if I grow my hair down to my waist
if I hold my poetry notebook over my
and over my
if I am very loud
and very silly
and very interested in your very interesting story
you wonâ€™t see Iâ€™m fat
Are you sure?
Yes, you want to go down a size on that
Yes try the extra small, let me get that for you
Just see what it looks like on, with a boob tube you want to make sure itâ€™s going to stay up when youâ€™re
Thirty bucks, in the bag, and on up the coast of Australia
Wearing my boob tube
Size extra small, age thirty-two
Boys (and girls) fluttering to me like moths
For the first and maybe the last time.
Iâ€™m really concerned about your eating
I just want you to be healthy
It bothers me that you eat the way you do
I donâ€™t know if I can be with someone who doesnâ€™t respect her body
All you have to do is burn more calories than you consume, you see
Itâ€™s really that easy
Sitting on the bed, writing out my food for the week,
Crying real tears
Because I couldnâ€™t make the math work out
A fridge full of food downstairs
And all the money spent to be told what not to eat.
You donâ€™t have to show your belly, said my teacher, but it helps
you can really see whatâ€™s going on that way.
There are a lot of us, I told her, sitting on her bed as she
packed her bags for a weekâ€™s trip with her lovely new boyfriend.
She had a gorgeous new dress that went perfectly with her favorite heels that make her legs look amazing.
Good color for her, a bit girlier than usual. Clingy but not too clingy.
She said she was afraid to wear it.
â€œWhen you look at me do you think â€˜She shouldnâ€™t be wearing that?â€™â€
There are a lot of funny fat girls, who canâ€™t believe that
anyone could be attracted to us
Who keep telling other fat girls that theyâ€™re beautiful and gorgeous but donâ€™t think it applies to them personally,
but who really do think those other girls look great.
Who seek out the attention they donâ€™t want but kind of do want, who are very entertaining when they want to be
and who know a lot more about you than you know about them, who are very good listeners and very good kissers, who are a little too grateful for the compliments they will distrust you for giving them (what could you be thinking?), and who are never surprised when you leave them for other, better, thinner women.
I would have never guessed that you struggled with this stuff, I told her, adjusting the ruffles on her shoulders. The heels, the heels, definitely bring the heels.
I wouldnâ€™t have guessed you did either, she said, and there we were, an afterschool special at nine oâ€™clock on a Thursday night, thinking those thoughts again and again, round and round and round.