seesaw

the hard wood seat splinters slightly on her calloused backside
as the red plank with flaking paint moves up and down
IT peers across the seesaw,
grinning, food suck between rotting teeth

“every time you go up, I win a little more
bit by bit, or shall I say
bite by bite?
you are mine. you know this will never stop,” IT snickers

your false wit is not appealing she says to herself

up and down
and again
and again

she knows it is the small or large things, one nibble or gulp here and there
harmless alone, devastating over time
the little lies IT whispers softly in her mind
making her think constantly about food, gnawing down her worth with every mouthful

IT knods “yes, you are getting it right now
you can’t resist the delcious poison, whale
food is your friendly enemy
you can’t just stop, it doesn’t work that way”

she tries none, she tries limiting, she tries in desperation to purge it… to exercise it away,
fuck me, she whispers

up and down
and again
and again

she sits up straight on the seat,
hoping to keep her belly and waist from touching her tightening shirt
breathing shallowly to not feel that material expand
knowing the size up would be much better anyway

“won’t matter, bubbles, if you sit better
it doesn’t change much and certainly not your body shape.
It giggles, your tightening skin and stretch marks are still here.
I’m not going anywhere and neither are the well-meaning chiding of others”

the bastards of well-meaning are not that, she whimpers, wanting to bury her body in the dirt out of sight

up and down
and again
and again

she fights back and promises herself to be stronger
to exercise
to watch was goes into her mouth
yet IT wiggles back into her brain again

“hurry and get that down, you have no time
eat it in the car
you need to sleep this AM and not the gym
you deserve chocolate and dessert…rough day all around, sweetheart” IT coos

she swears at herself, mouth watering at the prospect of sweets

up and down
and again
and again

sometimes she pushes off from thin back up into the sky, because it’s bound to happen anyway
sometimes she fights IT to stay down,
until the monster pounds from above and she relents
IT laughs on the descent,her repeated failure noted with an audience of onlookers

the jiggle of her stomach, breasts and upper arms
the teeter totter slamming up into the sky, her ass airborne again
she holds on for dear life,
blisters forming on her wide palms

she wonders what would happen if she just let go?
would the fall kill her?
would she be on her own?
leaving IT to slam back to the dirt?

“nothing,” IT says, “nothing will happen, my plump pumpkin”

and she pushes off into the sky, believing IT

seesaw

for what it’s worth

a rag doll, dropped and forgotten, under a rusted fender on an oil stained driveway
one muddy tire track decorated her back from right to left

“There you are,” the little monster said and grabbed the doll’s leg
“Hiding in plain sight I see,” as IT dragged the her behind it’s strides

the doll, face down, rubbed roughly against the concrete sidewalk
her dress above her head, her white underwear stained by a muddy puddle splash

“Gross, look at your underwear!” IT chided.
“You are never clean,” shaking ITs head in mock sadness

no one saw when a button eye, threads finally giving way,as it rolled to the grass
the doll’s one eye watched as her other slowly faded from sight

“Can’t you see what you have done to yourself?”
“Don’t you know how ugly you are? Gross!”

IT crossed a road, tangling the doll’s head with cigarette butts, bits of litter and sticky chewed gum
“I wish you would take better care of your hair,” flicking a glance of distaste in the her direction

IT cut across a lawn where the big dog lived and dragged her though a fresh pile
When IT climbed the chain link fence, the doll’s an arm caught at the top

“Hurry up, we are late!” yelled IT, tugging her leg roughly.
The doll’s arm ripped at the seam and dropped to the big dog’s lawn, a new chew toy for later

“Now look what you’ve done, well, it’s your own fault for flailing your arms that way.”
IT kept moving, grinding grass and mud into her tattered clothes as her stuffing guts trailed behind.

The monster stopped and looked at the beaten rag doll
With one motion, shot a great arc, deposited it in the dumpster

“Two points!” IT cheered and walked on, “See, loser, you really don’t care about yourself, freak”
The rag doll looked up at a cloud passing, as it waited on top of plastic bags of rotten food

wondering what stink would bury her soon
to cover her shame

for what it's worth

unwanted

the blowing dirt sticking to hot, sweaty skin
and brown and black burrs clinging to socks

a finger and nail sliced while peeling an onion
and a tiny gray mouse scurrying among pantry boxes

a hangnail catching on paper and pockets, now bleeding
and tangled, knotted hair, a ball of defiance, which must be cut out

the shock of a stinging jellyfish on an idyllic white sand beach
a bee sting, leaving innards on a lance, piercing skin

the rancid taste of sour milk in Lucky Charms
and a red-hot, swollen spider bite

the squish of dog shit between toes in the summer grass
and a belly-up fish floating in a tank of algae haze

Small bits of food cemented to otherwise clean silverware
and frozen skin patches under a ski mask

Heavy layers of ice, amputating already weeping tree limbs
and a gorging mosquito slapped to a blood mark

sunburn blisters on tight fiery skin
and rotting chicken bone garbage perfume

This is who I am

unwanted