It's Ramadan and I'm fasting (even though

I'm not Muslim) because when it comes to food,

I'm fickle as a fascist who wants to vote.


I'm looking at two pictures: one, a soldier sobbing

into his prayer rug, and two, a US marine squatting

behind bags of sand, hand-feeding a starving kitten.


They're sad pictures—sad as a doll

advertised as an ideal, so I cut myself

out of a magazine and then scratch out


my breasts so I can paste the product into the bible, into

a crowd where women weren't counted as consumers,

where men ate bread and countless women watched.


Barbies began as German sex dolls ('Barbie' derived

from 'Barbara' derived from 'Barbarian' which meant

'bearded' which meant foreign to the Romans—


fascists who wanted to vote). I'm not certain

what the professors mean when they talk about

the "symbolic body." The term ushers distraction


in the form of pin-ups my cousin said marines

tacked to the wall of a prison in Fallujah where

they spent two hot nights blanketed by sweat.


The paradox is that most barbies have breasts

and no vaginas while little girls have vaginas

but no breasts (and parents think that's proper).


Priests say bread becomes a body. Not like a body,

but an actual one (so we eat bodies like bread and

that's proper). When I was a little girl, I ate paper.


If I was hungry or bored enough, I'd eat a page

of the bible or a pin-up or a picture of a soldier

then sweat symbolism. Gripped by the gospel,


I want bread but can't eat it. I want the body

of a miracle, or a marine, because to me, this

dead weight's foreign: my body, my paradox.