Fri, 01/17/2014 - 17:58 -- jacqb


When I was little I was fascinated by my body.
I wasn’t even 60 pounds and yet
already known for looking down.
People thought I stared at the ground
but instead I was watching my feet,
and their way of keeping a cautious pace
One in front of the other, practicing
for the day I finally got to walk the tight rope.
Not even 60 pounds I still had not yet discovered my fear of looking down                                   when I was too high up off the ground.

I used to walk around my house
with out a destination, just to watch the towers
be carried by a pair of sized three sandals
no distance could ever intimidate me.
I used to sit in the car from the back seat
wishing I was walking so the blur outside my window would clear up just enough
for me to see what fuzzy shades of green
looked like when they were beside me.

When I was in the third grade I stopped looking. No longer watching my feet I noticed my arms
the way they swung beside me when I walked.
I used to swing my arms high and let them fall
eyes wide in wonderment as I felt their weight
pull at my shoulders and drag me down

At 85 pounds I was no longer in awe of my body.
Walking with out thinking was no longer a feat.
My existance became a careful task
of not looking too much like a freak.
I did not watch my feet
but was known for looking down.
Suddenly there was not only beautiful greens but other bodies like me.
But other bodies are carried by other people
At 85 pounds I had still not yet discovered
my fear of looking down, on the contrary
I was slapped in the face by my fear of people
and had glued my eyes to the ground to
avoid the expectation of having to smile
for I had never had an admiration towards
my crooked teeth or the sound of my own voice.
so I locked eyes with the table
whenever there was a waiter
Speaking had become a task I could not
accomplish, even carefully 

By fifth grade I had my walk down to a T,experimented in keeping my arms
close to my sides like the other bodies.
Glued down like my eyes, I had caged myself.

I was not yet 95 pounds and had discovered
the hitch in my breath whenever I was too high
and had to look down,
discovered the way a fish must feel out of water
from every time I ever went some where new,
discovered that my cage was too lonely
and surrounded myself with bodies
who didn’t expect me to say much.

Then I was one hundred and five pounds
other bodies had taught me to hate my own
they had me play a competitive game
one hundred and two pounds
collecting bones to touch
giving up space I used to take up
one hundred pounds
string tied around my waist
I was playing against myself.

When I was ninety-nine pounds
I had long discovered my fear of people
I had long discovered my fear of looking down
I had finally discovered my fear of my body
Eyes glued down but not at the ground,
I watched my thighs, forgot my feet
held my breath in the shower and
never wanted to eat.
I collected my bones like badges
and swallowed my existance.  


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