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by Caroline Keeler
I'll never achieve a figure
of bones and angles.
I come from people of flesh,
mothers of meat and marrow-guardians of the kitchen,
pushers of sustenance.
My people were resourceful,
never hungry-- always proud
of the stock, the butter and bread
that would expand bellies and
inspire a season of gratitude.
Images of my ancestors lend belonging
to me, now, in a new world;
rounded shoulders, soft bodies.
A composed intensity
behind their knitted brows-I know where I come from in this way;
the story of my nose, sharp chin,
skin-- loose and stretched
from their generosity.
They fed me long before
my arrival into body-form that I would end up
resenting for its history,
its life-giving life.
Imagine me starving
long after their bounty,
as if I come from nothing!
See, pride has been redefined-so I watch, helpless,
as the fruits of their labor
hang uneaten-- begging me
to take a bite, to feast
on what they've prepared
in spite of famine.
I wish to conceal the growth,
hide the rotting remnants
of their legacy, for I-I have let it waste away.