By Susan Anmuth
PROMPT — If only ...
I want to not be fat.
But I want to not be restricted
about food any
What if the hours I’ve consumed
with diets, food plans, new bright starts,
still missing the mud pie at Henry’s End
in Brooklyn Heights
that no one would order so I couldn’t have a bite without getting
my own and I disciplinately didn’t,
four decades ago,
were applied instead to
curing cancer or
discovering a new color or
at the wall (still a better use of time)?
What if I could let slide the narrow, bourgeois model of female beauty
and truly not hate my upper arms?
Here I am mobile
When people like my ex-husband get strokes and cancer and die.
Here I am still working, and fighting to unionize Super Store,
Never dreaming of
retiring from revolution.
Here I am checking no boxes during the annual physical:
all the things that can go wrong,
owning a reproductive system that no longer works
but isn’t built to work when
so in that sense works.
I desperately want to not care or, better,
appreciate the body I live in with my
and jowly jowls
and the big ass I’ve had all along.
You need a support community to be strong against isms:
Discrimination against people with disabilities
In the case of fat,
to de-internalize all the ads in all the magazines
and all the TV shows
and all the movies and please gods.
All the magic bullet solutions which siren
me every time I open my PC.
Even the fat good actors, like Melissa McCarthy and John Goodman
Except for Tony Soprano and he died.
Gandolfino I mean. Probably Tony too but
David Chase remains coy.
Susan Anmuth lives with her son, Yorkie, and cat in the Ironbound section of Newark, NJ, an area with many ethnic supermarkets and coffee shops.