Caught Feelings



I once dated a boy who told me I had a big nose

I mean he also said I was ugly, stupid, and fat

But my nose… that one was new


And who knows why that day my nose rose to be his target

Or why for the first time in my whole world words had become weapons wielded against me

not quite like bullets or spears

But rather like realizing you’re coming down with a slight cold

By the warning tingling in your throat

Like the feeling I got when I asked him why he wanted to be with me if I was so terrible, and he said thoughtlessly “because I love you” in response


I didn’t realize I was ill until long after we had broken up

Didn’t realize that the symptoms of my condition were masked by a different affliction

Didn’t realize that my own volition had invited in an incurable indisposition

Didn’t realize that the time he admitted he held my hand as a reward for enduring his verbal ammunition

Was the onset of an ailment over which I still I don’t think I’ve won


I had first caught the disease of attention

Attention like drip morphine: I had to be in pain in order to receive relief

My prescription came in kisses, a hand on the small of my back, acknowledging me in public


I became an addict, in search of a new fix for my physical fixation

Any means of controlling my need for satiation

Causing then an illness of my own creation

For my lust I caught self-deprecation, self-hatred, emotional starvation


But we don’t always stay sick:

Sometimes we mend.

We choose to live better, feel better, demand better.


I now date a boy who compliments my hair

This may not seem like a big deal but to me it spoke volumes

For my hair to be beautiful again… this was to be healing


For my hair to be beautiful was for it to be okay for me to take up space

For me to be loud, proud, brown, perhaps a little rounded out in the hips

To inhabit a body that is not perfect, but perfectly functioning

To send silly snapshots of my face throughout the day

So he can revel in my happiness and tell me “No matter how ugly you try to make that face, it’s still beautiful”


Sometimes I ask him how in the world he finds that true because I know I can make a mean double chin

He just laughs to himself and says thoughtlessly “because I love you”

But now it’s not the onset of the disease; it’s the beginning of the cure


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