This was emailed to me by Heather, and I deemed it worthy of its own page. Read on.


Figure Problems

by Allison Joseph

Our eyes are trained to search
for flaws, to see our bodies
as problems that must be solved-

thighs too heavy, ankles too weak,
hips too wide to suit an ideal
we did not create - trained to see

each body part is fundamentally
troubled, astray. We learn to
conceal, not reveal, not to show

the weaknessess each magazine cover
prompts us to hide, shrouding
or starving ourselves submissive.

What if we were to disregard
the slogens that keep us indoors,
to shun the shame that marks us

imperfect, using our bodies
as we please, pleasure more
important now, more necessary

than perfection, our senses
stirred as we walk outside,
moving thighs and hips however

we want, moving forward in
steady rhythmic motion,
feeling power deep in

calves, knees, arms,
pushing as if against
current, yet still mobile,

aware of the air we breathe,
the persistent throb of our
heart, pulse. What if our bodies

were ours to master,
not the province of pills
or diet shakes, our own machines

to use however we wanted,
with variations here and there,
room for the slim and the curved

the angular and the heavy,
each one of us pushing the other
on, not holding anyone back.


writings | brain | sparkyville


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