To Fat Men Who Survived Society

Here we stand

Much to their surprise

Or dismay

Or confusion

Fat men are a whisper

A forest cut down for comedic relief

Only seen if we are funny

Only loved if we have money

And I do not care enough to be either

I remember being called fat on the playground at school

and wondering why he said it with such venom

As if he intended it to offend me

As if it was supposed to offend me

But facts aren’t supposed to offend you

Like how vaccines really do work

Or how a tree really did fall that day

And I can still smell it burning

But nothing burns forever.

I remember my dad telling me that maybe if I wasn’t so lazy,

I wouldn’t be so fat.

And I remembered it every day when I cooked his dinner

I remembered it every day when I got home from school

After playing sports

After meeting with clubs

After feeding all the animals on our mini-farm

And watering every plant we keep in the garden

I remembered how maybe I wouldn’t be fat if I just worked harder

If I just wasn’t so lazy.


Years later and I have forgotten the word relaxation

I have to stay busy so I won’t stay sad

Because if I have time to think, then I will.

An idea I threaten myself with

Don’t stop going

Not yet

If I think then I’ll overthink

And if I overthink I’ll be sad

And the doctor says it’s cause I’m fat

And the therapist asked if I go to the gym

And the dermatologist congratulates me on losing weight between appointments

as if 30 pounds in 3 weeks isn’t a cry for help.

And I wonder if she notices the scars.


To be a fat kid who became a fat man

Is to say I am a survivor

Is to say we are survivors

That society didn’t kill us yet

No matter how much it wanted to

That we didn’t kill us yet

No matter how much we wanted to

And tears are a taste we know far too well

And venom is a taste we know far too well

On words

On looks

In conversations with any gender

You see no one has sympathy for the fat guy.

There’s no “body positivity” or comments about our natural beauty.

Fat men are your scape goats

Your punching bags or ash trays

Used and forgotten

Because you cannot see value

Unless it benefits you

Unless it fits your mold

And there’s a treaty signed with death on this fat body

But I refuse to erase anything for you

And I know as a gay man it is harder

That even a community thus accepting has exceptions

I know as a gay man it’s lonelier

But fat straight men deserve love too

So to fat men who survived society I see you

And to fat men who survived society, I love you.

And those calories you are always trying to burn are still burning

And those memories you are trying to burn are still burning

But nothing burns forever

And don’t let them burn you too.

Don’t cut yourself open for water

It will not soothe your burns

Do not starve yourself to suffocate the fire

Or you are letting it win

You cannot let them win

To fat men who survived society,

That makes us winners

This poem is about: 
My community
Our world


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