Body Algebra | Teen Ink

Body Algebra MAG

July 15, 2014
By rellamell BRONZE, Los Angeles, California
rellamell BRONZE, Los Angeles, California
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

If you must know
I’ve sucked in
my abdomen for so
long that it concaves
like the crescent moon

and I cannot tell if
it tucks in that way
naturally anymore

all I know is that
when I was a ballerina
I pursed my stomach out

it all began when I feared
I’d lost my ribs

when mounds grew on
my chest
once a prairie landscape
houses, unwanted, built

I found some
self-flagellation in
my pocket

and punished my renegade
form, stunting horizontal

But this is merely roundabout
back to your question:

“How much do
you weigh?” does not
yield a simple answer
like easy division

the algebra of the
body must be
whipped into the brain

For example:

Factor in the subtraction
of breakfast when you first
step on the scale
in the morning

meals are
standard deviation

chip off those few
pounds from the
electric numbers

take into account
the mornings, the nights,
the meals in between

all the water the body
is loath to part with

the separation anxiety

I pine for the scale
that bears the load
of a calculating mind
in a burgeoning body

gazing down at the
numbers trickling up
teetering between
double and triple digits

I talk it over with my friends

who cut their food
as Democritus would
dicing until they hit
the atoms

they rearrange the mangled
until they resemble
a mosaic of organs
much like ourselves

I run my hand across
a protruding collarbone
to remind myself
why I see
more plate than food

and laugh about
what pigs we are
alongside these girls

thinking all the while
that if I should ever
have a daughter
I would tell her

to find the bone
beneath the skin
wherever it may be

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