The Fat Girl's Abecedary
by David Starkey

    Fat girl, terrestrial, my summer, my night,
    How is it I find you in difference, see you there
    In a moving contour, a change not quite completed?
    --Wallace Stevens, Notes Towards a Supreme Fiction

    "A" is for aggravate and abnormal and assholes
    Like you, Mr. Stevens, whose acceptance I don't need.

    "B" is the biweekly shouts I hear from passing cars,
    The blabbermouths, the bile and the bitter rot.

    "C" stands for capacious, a description of my heart,
    Too, before it nearly collapsed from these cuts.

    "D" is dummy up and duck out of the way
    Of the next dose of barely disguised disgust.

    This one's for edge, as in Getting an edge on,
    Or, She's always so edgy, why doesn't she just relax?

    The Fat Girl, of course becomes the Fat Lady,
    Who sings when fat men finish playing at their games.

    "G" is for gut, that goddamned guttural grunt
    That signifies extra weight, both inside and out.

    Hormones: As in, Hush, she can't help her hormones,
    Or, Hormones, my ass, she just shouldn't eat.

    "I" is a personal pronoun, I is me.
    I am incorporeal: I is what you don't see.

    "J" is for jumbo and junkfood and jiggle,
    Thoughts jumbled up and jumpy and junk heap.

    Klutzes get the kiss-off, if we get kissed at all,
    Which is unlikely; more likely, we kvetch.

    "L" is lousy, the way I feel after making lemonade
    And being left with nothing but the rinds

    Mordacious, as in Sarcastic or prone to biting,
    Motherfucker, and no mystery about why.

    A nubbin is what is left of my sense of nicety
    And decorum when it's late at night, when it's night.

    "O" is the shape of my mouth when you think of me,
    An orb that's always open, my omphalos.

    Pudgy, pursy, plump, pot-bellied, portly,
    Puffy, paunchy, pig-faced, porked-out.

    "Q" is the questions that I can't answer:
    Am I God's quarry? His quarrel? His unknown quantity?

    "R" is round and rounder, roundabout and roundelay,
    Roundish, roundly, round-the-clock, round steak.

    "S" makes the shovel you think that I eat with,
    "S" makes the skeleton you want me to be.

    Time out, you think. Time to trade up to a sleeker model.
    Ta-ta, thunder thighs. Time to trash this tripe.

    Perhaps you hadn't noticed that you're being unfair,
    Unkind, unsophisticated, unscientific and unreal.

    "V" is for the dreams I sometimes have of vamping,
    Of becoming Vampira, of hearing Va-va-va-voom!

    "W" is my whoop of joy, my wide smile
    That, for all my troubles, I'll never be a wife.

    You are the xenophobe in this, Mr. Stevens;
    You are the one who fears foreign things, not I.

    I'd like to yank some sense into you once,
    To hear you yelp in pain, to shut your yakety-yak

    "Z" is the zygote where it all started, the zombie process
    Of creation, that zone of bitter irony, the Zen.

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