BY REBECCA COOK
This is the girl who won’t eat a doughnut who won’t eat a hamburger bun. This is the little girl who doesn’t gain weight for two years I’m worried about you her mother says. This is the girl skinning the cat on the old clothesline the rusted cross poles. This means that her body is light is fit is tight an unthought-of thing it moves and prances it loves to be tickled. It lifts itself up into trees. It runs across the pasture its mother washes it and bathes it and lays out its clothes. It argues with Angela on the playground who is the fattest I am I am fatter than you it bunches up its thigh and shouts no, no, I am fatter than you.
This body remembers the exact moment. Filling up its own plate piling on the mashed potatoes the field peas the green beans I can eat as much as I want I can eat and eat I can hold so much I can have as much as I want I am so proud I can eat so much. In this body’s house there is the freezer full of Little Debbies. This body goes with its mother and brother to the McKee Bakery seconds store and brings home huge bags those big black garbage bags full so heavy they lug them to the car here’s a Swiss Roll it’s a cigar you can peel the chocolate off the outside Mother is pulling another pan of cholate chip cookies hot hot from the oven this body is drinking the grape Kool-Aid this body can have whatever it wants. Dairy Queen McDonald’s fries burgers Cokes and more Cokes how proud how much it can eat it is amazing.
It will catch up with you they tell it. It will chase you down you can’t keep up this six pieces of bacon and twelve pieces of toast at the church retreat. I used to be able to eat like that too, they tell it, all its womenfolk; they say back in the day I ate three pieces of cornbread and five pieces of chicken and look at me now. You wait, little girl body. You wait until you have a child. You put down that cake. You’ve already had two pieces. You wait until you have your second baby. It will catch up with you. It will take you down.
I’m sorry I can’t quit eating I just went jogging with my father. I’m sorry, Jane. I did eat all your white bread. I hate Roman Meal. I’m sorry, Doris. You had to hide the cookies on top of the fridge that sealed white box I will crawl in they will not stop with their blabbering you can’t keep this up it will catch you it will catch up with you. My body is not listening. It will eat it. Exactly what it wants. It will eat all of it.
This body is on her bike up and down hills this body is walking down to the pond walking across to the barn this body is running abound the track so slow it took forever but she made that mile and she lifted those weights my what strong legs you have oh my just look what happens during Lent no candy no bread her hip bones are so sharp moving against her grey pants she is walking down the hall this body is so thin and tan what an ass what a waist what childbearing hips what a cunt clamping down this body cums and runs and jumps and slides down the rope and burns this body is made of fire this body is knocked up its heart is broken it is a barbed wire electric fence frozen taut pizza hash browns green beans I’m sorry I’m bad I’m sorry I can’t get enough inside me I’m sorry I can’t fill it up I’m sorry. I’m just a baby bird. She’s just a starving baby. There is no blood in it. It flops over the pillow is red it is almost dead. I’m going to stop moving now.
Rebecca Cook blogs at godlikepoet.com where she brags a lot, stares at her navel a lot, and sometimes on good days tucks up her body and flops into the deep water. You can find recent poetry and prose online in Atticus Review, The Nervous Breakdown, Gone Lawn Journal, BlazeVox, The Rumpus, The Georgia Review, the NewerYork, Midway Journal, Split Lip, Menacing Hedge, and Map Literary. Her books are Click, The Terrible Baby, and I Will Not Give Over. New work is forthcoming inSeneca Review, Plume, and The Drunken Boat. For complete details about her many impressive accomplishments and dreams and aspirations please visit her website godlikepoet.com.