Whale Song

I had a boy come up to me once

When he heard I’d be singing at our high school’s senior award ceremony.

To ask “what will you be singing? a whale song?”

He turned to his friends and began to laugh

Now this boy, “let’s call him Chad”

I’m sure you know the type

Was what I used to call a friend of mine

So I brushed it off like confetti

And laughed along so to convince myself they were laughing with me rather than at me.

But you see it wasn’t until I got to college that I realized friends don’t cut you when you are bleeding

Friends are the ones who bring you the bandaids and chocolate

And don’t tease you about how much ice-cream you ate in your bathtub today

Who don’t judge you for eating a whole roll of Girl Scout cookies because you were sad.

And who don’t assume you like Twinkie’s

Because I really don’t like Twinkie’s


But I still think about what he said sometimes

And how every other time he joked about my weight

It made made feel even heavier

Like I might sink through the earth itself

And while everyone was getting the talk about the birds and the bees from their parents

I was getting the one about BMI

About how being fat is bad for me

But how being fat is what I’ll always be

Because of something called genes

But not skinny jeans

No not ever skinny jeans

And my weight has always been the elephant in the room

So I suppose I’m used to being called the elephant in the room

But that doesn’t make it hurt any less

You see it just doesn’t work like that

And with every insult thrown like a spear at my heart,

It was harder and harder to pull it back out again.

What they don’t realize is that sticks and stones can break your bones

But words can sometimes kill you.

And I am learning to let go of the words

Little by little

With every poem that I write

With every man I confused for home

Which is to say I haven’t given up yet

Not yet.

And the flags on my walls

Are reminders of the battles I’ve already fought

And the miracles that led to me standing here today

So when the boys at school call me a planet,

It’s because they can’t resist my gravitational pull

The way they spit insults to my face

And then send me nudes behind their phones.

And maybe they call me a planet because they expect me to be a star

Or maybe it’s the way I shine in the darkest nights every time

Or perhaps it’s how they only see me at night and expect me to be gone in the morning.

But not every star disappears with the dawn

I am still here!

And if I could write a letter to every fat kid who they called the moon

I would remind them how many beautiful things have been inspired by the moon

Every poem or song and it isn't for nothing

She is gorgeous

And if I could write a letter to every kid

who they called an elephant or a whale,

Or who they teased about food.

I would tell them I hear you

And I see you

And I know how badly you hurt

And how the world seems to be fighting so hard to make us extinct

But we are still here

And someday things will get better

Whether you lose weight or not

And people will still hate you whether you lose weight or not

And some people will never stop choosing to hate.

But you don’t have to.

You see, you my dear are the star they will write songs about

The great whale they will write books about

And every planet in this solar system will remember your name

Because bigger might not always be better

But you can be damn sure

They will never forget you

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