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.