Sometimes
I wish I was petite
Like those women
I see on the street
They are just. so.
Nothing extraneous
No bump
No ripple
No dimple
All contained
Without any strain
Within allotted frames
Like colouring within lines
Perfectly neat
Little hands and feet
It must feel reassuring
To be made this way
Comfortable
In control
They move with ease
And integrity
Like dancers
Graceful and light
Movements smooth and flowing
Clothes fitting
Just. so.
Never pulling
Never bulging
No concealing
Or revealing

Me
I feel like someone
Put me on the photocopier
And punched in 120%
Out of revenge or spite
My weight and my height
Ever-so-noticeably
Too big
Getting bigger
Beyond all control
Gut spills over waistband
Curved hips strain seams
Bra wire digs in
Thighs rub and distort
An arse the width of two
Oh, how I’ve had to come to terms with you!
My hands and my feet
Look too small for my frame
My smile tiny in a full moon face
Eyes squinty (once large)
At risk chin
Doubling down
Rubber ring round my jaw
Earlobes forced outwards
By excess face
A shock in the mirror
How do I keep apace
Of the changes?
Disconnect!
That girl’s not the me
That I see in my head
Who the hell is she?

Even at my best I feel
Too short
Too broad
To be thought of as ideal
Too tall to be average
Slim enough to get noticed
Ideal enough to be harassed
Yet
Too bumpy to wear bathers
Too hippy to wear pants
Too small-waisted for this decade
Too scabby of skin and
Covered in freckles
With hair too wiry
Too thick and
Unruly
Way too much
Down below
Both on legs
And between
And on arms
It should be unseen
Or erased
Neatly shaved
Pre-pubescence restored

With teeth no longer perfect
Little fangs crossing over
I look to snaggle-toothed movie stars
For reassurance
Camaraderie
Wrinkles like rivulets
Between breasts
Heavy and pendulous
Like pointy grapes
I like them though
They are:
Firm and fecund
Self-supporting and young
While so much of me now is
World weary and worn
From age and from illness
And also from pain
Bearing scars
Broken veins
Stretch marks and cracked heels
How odd it all feels
To be in this body
My body
My self
Yet somehow it is entirely
Someone else

But
(Note third person)
She is an organic being
Marked
And shaped
By her life
Her experience
Never for one moment
Fixed in time
Never for one moment
Perfect
For she is alive
And dynamic
And if she weren’t
If she were perfect
She would be
Frozen
And fake
And plastic
And dead

So
Back to those
Little ladies
That I see
On the street
Petite
Like ballerinas they move
Or gazelles
So light
Or Holly Golightly
Audrey Hepburn
So small
No excess baggage at all
Exposed collarbones
Pointy shoulders
Sparrow limbs
Sculpted lean
So clean
While I feel like
Somebody
Drew me outside the lines
I exceed myself
Cross my own boundaries
Burst my levies
And banks
Angry river
Charging forth
Carving lines
Into earth
Creating new channels
New places to flow
Out into the air
Filling space
If I dare
Because my body isn’t enough
To contain me
My perimeter
Too flimsy
To hold my energy
The flood within
The rage
Here she comes
The fat
Her expression
My size
A transgression
A refusal to be
What you want me to be
What he wants
With his penis
Erect dick
Trouser snake
Worm seeking a hole
A fuck hole
You fuck off
Now you see me
And
Now you don’t
No, you really,
Really don’t.
For though I am bigger
I’m more invisible than ever
And that’s how I like it
You’re no longer a threat
I can walk the streets
Alone in the dark
Hunch over like a man
Swagger down footpaths
Hide under short hair
Because I’m not there
You think I’m one of you
With my height and my size
I’m not longer a woman
No longer your kind of woman
Surprise!

No longer:
Small
Soft
Long of hair
Vulnerable
Attackable
Gullible
Yours

Now:
Big
Hard
Wary
Strong
Angry
Unfuckable-with
This body is mine

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