Invisiphilia

Poem written in segments over a period of several months. Please check out the Invisiphilia category tag for the originals. Keep checking back for updates, as I plan to keep adding for the indefinite future.


 PART ONE: CONCEPTION

A happy day, three weeks after

the night you were conceived.

But Doctor wasn’t too impressed

with what your Mom achieved.

“You shouldn’t gain an ounce,” he said.

“Perhaps, should lose a few!”

All told in order to prevent

the birth of a fat you.


PART TWO: INFANCY

They never told the neighbors that

they cut your milk in half;

drawn colored dots up on the wall—

your hunger on a graph.

And when you screamed your emptiness

they shrugged and found the scale—

nope, still too heavy; so they placed

you in your crib to wail.


PART THREE: SCHOOL

She is the fastest reader, and

her math is years ahead—

she sings, and plays, and draws, and writes;

lies dreaming on her bed.

But no one sees the little girl

as reader, writer, voice;

instead, the product of a vice,

and victim of a choice.


PART 4: CAMP

I wonder what the other kids

are doing on their break—

Learning to count calories, shun

pasta, meat, and cake?

Learning how to deal with hunger

(biting sharp like knives)?

Running laps until they vomit—

—running for their lives?


PART 5: SELF

Not until you’re thin as Amber,

lithe as Julia;

not until you’re Michelle-skinny,

graceful as Anna.

Not until that perfect ten,

that Nicole (she’s so hot).

Not until you’ve lost that ten, not

til you’re weightless (not).


PART 6: HOLIDAYS

Christmas came, a riot of our

happy memories.

Brother got a camera, and I

got some new CDs.

Daddy got a diet, and I

got a diet too—

“Do it just like this and they will

want to look like you!

Talent gets you far but it can’t

win you true success;

Riches, friends, and fam’lies grow

the smaller your dress gets.

Don’t you want to see the sun stream

right between your thighs?”

…I didn’t, in particular.

But—

If I’m skinny, maybe he will

hear me when I sing;

If I’m skinny, maybe he will

want the love I bring;

If I’m skinny, maybe he won’t

leave before I’m grown—

I got skinny. Daddy moved down

south to his new home.


PART 7: PINK ELEPHANTS

Poppin poppin poppin diet

pills into her mouth;

rockin rockin rockin hunger

killed and food thrown out.

Shoppin at the coolest stores,

short skirts, tight tights, and—shout!

Hoppin hoppin hoppin boys are

gawkin, music’s poppin, she is

shrinking, finally they

all can see her—


PART 8: IDEAL

A business suit and shapely legs

In Yale’s echoing hall

Sits, scissored legs crossed at the knee,

the envy of them all.

The women want to be like her,

the men hang on her words.

“You know that she could win it all,”

is whispered ‘mongst the herds.

But by the second day, she’s done—

She’s lost her zest and steam.

She cannot hear the things they say,

like music in a dream.

Instead her clouded head is stuck

in hunger, anger, violence.

Someone else will win the gavel—

served up by her silence.


PART 9: TO WRITE

The words rang clear, the characters

were vivid, timeless, true;

the hero was insightful, and

the plot was fresh and new.

But lo! What’s this? the author’s pic

is full of round and curve.

Suddenly the text felt flat: the

words had lost their verve.

One comment on “Invisiphilia

  1. sonofmydad says:

    …Powerful..! I’m nearly speechless (and that doesn’t happen often). For different reasons I *was* usually a pariah during my formative years. This article deserves the respect of a better reply than this, but deserves as well the respect of not passing un-commented-on. Very best regards.

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