Slam Poem: Defining the Line

Lunch and that Cafeteria food.

But I,

Have a bag a miracle bag…with cookies.

Black colored cookies with white frosting that

I don't particularly like.

I open that packet,

The six-pack rustle of calories

Building on my butt, breasts, body.

I am nine years old.

Impressionable and overemotional

As so unused to

Defending myself the youngest of three

Lowest of the food chain, I never had to

Deal with sisterly abuse,

My mom took care of that.

Rooms, shut doors, avoidance

Took care of that.

So the whisper, when it came hit hard in

The gut- that slimy almost preteen who voiced

"No wonder she's so fat."

Shock, the awe-factor

The I-can't-believe-he-would-say-that-in-front-of-me


I wonder what they say when I'm gone…

Blood quickly drains and leaves face pale

And then the flush comes,

Turing cheeks, nose, forehead and neck a bright

Blaring heart-on-sleeve red.

Then comes the recovery, the instant damage control complete with

An urgent bathroom run – yes, this is an emergency.

I spit, sputter quarterly digested food, the graininess in my mouth

Lands with a sickening plop in the white base-black rimmed

Toilet I think I'm going to be sick.

Not the first time. Not the last.

The day moves on as if nothing happened as feet find their path

Bus, home homework, dinner-
No dessert.

Shower read bed.

Quiet room, dark with the not so soft hum

Of a TV as a lullaby, but I can't sleep, thoughts won't die.

Anger. I fear it hate it but it

Rushes at me and I think a word I usually avoid.



But I only react as people expect, tears, whines, or

silence and a gentle blush that creeps up when I know

Someone is talking about me.

Good girl, sweet girl who feels guilty when

someone else gets in trouble or she

talks too loud too much

and someone utters that well-worn phrase -shut up

be silent – we don't want your worries our noise polluting our lives.

Years later and I hear

People call me beautiful; my doctor says I am perfect in my roundness

after all those years

Of bulimic hours spent in self-pity,

And years and years of believing that I was…

Then the truth comes softly, hopefully and with just a bit of pain when

Skinny girls – sporting white, black, tan and olive skin hues

say with encouragement

"daaaaammmn" whenever I am

Brave enough to flash a bit of skin.


Fuck you and your opinions,

And do it so well that your bubble world goes limp

And moldable and your mind fogs to distant.

Not afraid, huh?

Not so meek anymore,

I shave my grudging outrage years after

This clay mold of hips, breast, thighs and mind hardens,

Unfortunately still polite, mild and very solid.

I dig deep and

Unearth words that sound similar to those

Who I believed were indifferent to

My awkwardness.

And soon, anger isn't so unreasonable,


"Almost", "This might sound weird"

"But", "Might" and "Maybe"…

All characters that I've started removing

From my speech.

I might have a breast reduction before I'm twenty-five and I

Might prefer to drink OJ with pizza rather than soda, and

Maybe when I was little I made the Dead Sea

Grim with jealousy a few times or swallowed a few too many

Ego-inflated pills

In the form of comments, favors, and abuses…

But if I cut my wrist and you cut yours

We will both die bleeding the same shade of red, and,

I bet all the

six-pack shit available in the world,

That my overemotional and diverse

But strictly nurtured and defined blood will

Stain longer,

Run stronger

And die faster than yours, quiet without complaint

or unfinished business or loose ends scrambling to

violently clutch me to this earth.

I will find freedom in the fact

That my existence was defined by no one but me.