Here we stand
Much to their surprise
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
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
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