We walked up the path along the tracks, held hands and crunched our way over discarded feathers and brittle brown leaves, and he complained about the way clothes fit around his body. His flesh became a muffin top over his belt and his arms resisted the restraints of his too tight t-shirt. “I’ll take it all away,” I said, and his close-mouthed smile doubted. I began to eat as much as I could at every meal, took every extra helping of mashed potatoes that grandma offered at Sunday dinner. I stocked my cupboards with all of the most important delicacies, especially those forbidden by my mother: Oreo Cakesters, banana-flavored popsicles, Town House Crackers, greasy never-organic potato chips, Velveeta shells and cheese, and enough vegetable oil to fry a whole coop of chickens. The foods filled every bite, every breath working to help and absorbing any runaway crumbs. My belly bloated as Buddha took over my body. Purple stretch marks made their way towards my navel like the most beautiful tribal designs. (They belong). With every piece of chocolate I consumed, he lost an inch. It came off slowly at first, but his eyes began to look brighter, and his once form-fitting jeans began to sag. A pound of his flesh was now mine, except for I’d taken dozens too many. By spring, he stopped touching me, horrified by my enormous frame. (I sacrificed.) Now the doctors tell me I have a tumor in my belly, but I know better. The white glow they show me on the x-ray is nothing more than a ball of wispy train whistles.
About Rachel Marsom-Richmond:Rachel Marsom-Richmond graduated with her M.A. from Northern Arizona University in May of 2009, and she graduated with her M.F.A. from Georgia College & State University this May. Her poems have appeared in Three Line Poetry, The Bijou Poetry Review, and The Camel Saloon.
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