I try not to talk about my weight
in the same way I try not to talk
about my children at work.

But I’ve become the elephant in the room,
conspicuous as a Cheerio stuck to my sleeve,
the constant yogurt on my shoulder.

Weight is easier to carry than pictures of my children.
I lose one and keep the other.
I bore easily at “my, they’ve grown.”
“My, you’ve grown” lives only in texts and whispers.

But online…

Online the potion peddlers find me,
give themselves away in Drink Pink! hashtaggery
hidden in sentences that wind
like country roads.

Online they tell me to Think!
But would you believe I work better with a little clutter?
And I’ve been thin before, so it’s nothing novel.

Online they meme away,
testify revival-tent-style,
selling something that will save us all.

But we all preach a little Plexus
with our causes and elbows we serve at the dinner table,
from Namaste to Obama,
War Eagle to Who Dat?
All cheers and jeers form alphabet soup
that stoops lower than the Tide sometimes.

I post poems like written saviors.
I say, “You can start today!
Everyone starts somewhere!
Ask me how!”

I share stories that aren’t mine
so you can see yourself in them,
at first before, then one day after
and you, the literary paper doll,
a living Mad Lib.

Take this sole solace:
At least there’s only one of me.

This poem was written as part of a poem-a-day challenge for National Poetry Month! Write your own and tag #npm15. And leave comments in response! I’d love to hear from you.

Remember that the poems that appear as part of this challenge are dirty drafts; they may change with each visit to the site.

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