I didn’t think of it while I was writing, but afterwards I realized it was definitely a subconscious nod to Verlee’s amazing poem. Thanks for asking!
1. When you find yourself sitting for an hour
in a bathroom stall,
wishing happiness could be as simple
as pushing your fingers down your
Throw your scale in the street and
watch the cars run over it.
2. There will be times when you
wish you could cut the fat
from your body with a cleaver—
Step away from the mirror.
Hug your thighs,
thank them for always
taking you where you needed to go.
Wave your flabby arms like a protest sign.
3. When the girl with pink hair
and rosary bead necklace
says you have man hands, show her just
how tough your middle finger can be.
4. When the boy you love won’t kiss you in public,
When he asks you not to go on birth control because
it will make you gain weight,
When he tells you at dinner you’d be pretty
enough to model if only you lost twenty pounds,
order three desserts.
Then leave him.
5. There is nothing poetic about the
baggy of sleeping pills and goodbye
letters you keep under your mattress
Flush the pills.
Burn the letters.
Hug your mother.
6. People will tell you that high school
is whatever you make it to be.
You don’t have to make it anything.
You just have to make it.
Get out of the bathroom stall.