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




there is a stillness in my bones
hands under my arms for warmth
i try not to move
to think…breathe
perhaps you will not notice me

curled up
in a small place
waiting, knowing you are there, basking lazily in the sunlight
just a few seconds of relief from thoughts
just a few seconds . . .

no matter
if i move or stay still
if i hold my breath or close my eyes
no matter

you’re there, wrapping your enormous body around mine
an entangled dance
squeezing other thoughts out
strangling emotions
whispering breathy words in my ears
talking conversationally about familiar failures
locking eyes with me in mock sympathy, “you poor, poor Thing”

words creep from your lips
sounds i cannot ignore
it milks my agony inside
and strikes with venomous bites, piercing skin

slithering between thoughts of joy
coiling around hints of a smile
devouring whole a skittering hope
charming others through my eyes

bathe and dress
work and cook
participate and talk
drive and walk

cry and rant alone
i keep my distance
at It’s insistence,
snake puppet



IT grows, sprouting new leaves of misery
cultivating self-hate
wrapping tendrils between toes to trip up laughter
thickening branches with tears and rage
soul digger, gorging on sorrow
budding into a chest with heartache blooms
slithering vines up a spine coiling despair, tightly lodged in the throat
splicing words of defeat
fertilizing self-doubt

growing stronger as it feeds