Before and After

Who tells us that

there is a wrong way to have a body?

Trimming the fat off with our eyes

A twisted game of dress-up and slim-down

Wondering how often the women next to me goes to the gym

And shamefully thinking that if she doesn’t, she should

Protesting the very thing I can’t quit

Can we move beyond flesh (from which we all come?)

but remain whole and distinct?


You won’t see me turn this before body into an after

You won’t see the bad lighting attack my sweaty blotchy face

The guillotined line cutting away time and fat

The light of the flash rico shading off of the mirror

Nor will you see my shimmering abs and high school reunion ready smile

Is there a specific kind of oil they use for their abs?

This body of mine is the body before a meal and the body after a workout


A lack that looks like a full meal

The proof is in the pudding ?

Shedding, shedding old habits

Shedding, shedding current selves

But not pounds

I wish that I could run fast enough that my fat would fall off and away

Unable to catch up with my bolting body

Leaving it alone on the sidewalk for some petite dame to pick up and pickle in a jar

Put it on a shelf and take it down 100 years later

Look inside, then you’ll see what I’m after