Anthem and Atonement

The sticks and stones house the hurt,

But why then, did words form cacophonic scars around my wrists?

Why did they persuade me to flee from the phone—terrified of the acne faced and braced monsters on other end?

Message inside the fleets of spits balls hurled in my direction, my space jeers at my imperfections

I turned the words on myself—allowed their demons to infect me

The toxic syllables, forming wicked symphonies, my tragic melody

The fear that ravaged my insides, “You too fat!”

“You’re vile!”

“Every last bit of you is used and unwanted from your fat ass to liver bile!”

My insides shrieked and raged for years on end, until I was as frail and weak and broken on the outside as much as within.

Drowning in a sea of Lexapro and choked by my barbed-wire scars, there was no terrain or mist—just the indefinite abyss.

It swished me around and swallowed me.

And when I was spit out, I was debris.

But as I learned, ruin is a gift.

The vocabulary adhesive had washed off of me.

My wrecked remains were the titanium that survived their language.

And so they assembled—shards of intelligence and compassion and persistence all fused together.

I became a Venus de Milo of resilience,

A Boadicea of acceptance.

Measuring my life in smiles and joy, instead of purges and cuts

Their sticks became my kindling,

Their stones my jewelry,

But their words are fossils—

Faded echoes,

Evidence that they (and I) were wrong.

My Body:

This Figure,

This form,

Doughy, flawed

Wide Hipped, supple-lipped

How I mutilated your alabaster planes,

Dissected your divine abundance,

I hated you.

Battered your matter to a gaunt shell,

Dyed it with bruises and speckled in scars

Manifestation of my insecurity that you inhaled

The elixirs I imbibed,

How easy they made it for me to abandon you,

Rendering you victim to unwanted hands and darkened plans,

I burned your wild curls,

Tamed the natural ringlets.

That nose edges over slightly to one side–

I wanted a scalpel to erase it.

I wanted a doctor’s straw to sip and suck at my stomach and thighs,

Remove all my softness,

Make my hourglass a line.

With purges and fasts and hours running like the thief of my being,

I tried to shrink.

When you wouldn’t contract,

I tried to vacate you,

Emotionally, physically.

But your intangible strength assuaged my pain.

You held on and thrived.

You are the miracle.

The speed of your stride, the sway of your hips,

The grin of your lips,

The universe at the meeting of your ample thighs,

This is my atonement and a love letter to you.

My darling, marvelous body:

Naked, Spanks-less,

Porous melodic perfection

Seamstress of my reveries

Composer of my emotions

Drummer to my rants, raves and commotions

Host to my ascending soul

You are beautiful, infinite, and whole.

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