So I ended up taking a five week break from this series and it was totally by accident! At first, I had midterms which took up a lot of my time and then I was unsure about how I wanted to share this post. The poem that I am sharing today is written as a spoken word piece, so it’s supposed to be heard and not read. However, I am way too nervous to read it out loud and share it with you all, so in the end, I decided to just share the bare bones with you. Maybe I’ll change my mind later but for now, this is the last piece I’m sharing for this series.
Let’s get started!
Who am I?
What happened to me?
It seems like only ten minutes ago, I was the quintessential gymnast
with the perfect ballerina body that twirled and spun
while throwing a pink hula hoop into the air.
My body was delicate, and soft, and thin.
And now… Now I’m a stranger.
The person in the reflection of the mirror can’t possibly be me
because my thighs never touched and my hips never curved and my stomach definitely didn’t protrude out the way it does now.
Why am I complaining?
How many times did I glare at my ribs poking through my skin and beg them to disappear?
I spent hours counting them one by one by one
with hate and disdain because how dare they reveal themselves.
Bones are supposed to be underneath the skin, Sara.
And my wrists, which rotate intricately
in that flamenco dance I’ve always loved,
could break at any moment.
They’re right there on the surface.
My mom says my weight gain is good because I finally look like a woman.
Real women have curves, didn’t you know?
Family and friends and instagram and facebook tell me
I should hold the chunk on my sides and the meat in my thighs and be thankful
because I’m real now.
If this is true, then why do I feel like an alien
snatched my body and shaped it and molded it
until it looked nothing like the person I always thought I was.
It doesn’t help that I have always been caught between two worlds,
two cultures in battle about expectations of women’s bodies.
Stuck in perpetual stalemate because they both see each other as evil.
On one hand, my friends complain
about their own bodies and
they scoff in my face
because how dare i say anything negative about my own?
“You’re skinny, you have no problems.”
And on the other, my grandma and my aunt and my cousin say:
eat, eat, EAT before I vanish.
I’ve been imaginary my whole life it seems, always about to disappear
because “you’re too flaca, Sara.”
Latina women are voluptuous, temptresses with big tits and giant asses
and how dare I defy that expectation with my straight frame and small chest?
“You look like a boy, keep your hair long.”
I’m caught between “It’s okay to gain a little, but make sure to stop before you go too far” and “You look fat in a good way though.”
Someone tell me the answer because I no longer know.
At six, I prayed for the number on the scale to be smaller because my teammate just got
reprimanded for weight gain before me and I don’t want to be yelled at next.
At nine, I wished for the number to be bigger because I’m tired of feeling my bones through my
skin, poking the people I love through my hugs.
At twenty-five, I don’t know what I want the number to be because I’ve finally rushed past the
threshold of a hundred pounds that I always wanted to beat but the number just keeps getting
higher and higher and it seems like too late to wish for it to come back down.
And at the end of the day, I feel guilty. I’m healthy.
My body carries me through every day,
It lets me dance and sing.
Got me competition medals and trophies.
Allowed me to ride on the backs of hundred pound horses.
Who am I to question how it looks?
So that’s it for this post! I want to say a final and HUGE thank you to everyone who has read, liked and commented on the posts for this series. It is nerve wracking to share some of my most personal thoughts with the internet and I am so grateful to have them received so well. I love this community so very much, thank you for loving me back! Let me know your thoughts!