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.