I had a boy come up to me once
When he heard I’d be singing at our high school’s senior award ceremony.
To ask “what will you be singing? a whale song?”
He turned to his friends and began to laugh
Now this boy, “let’s call him Chad”
I’m sure you know the type
Was what I used to call a friend of mine
So I brushed it off like confetti
And laughed along so to convince myself they were laughing with me rather than at me.
But you see it wasn’t until I got to college that I realized friends don’t cut you when you are bleeding
Friends are the ones who bring you the bandaids and chocolate
And don’t tease you about how much ice-cream you ate in your bathtub today
Who don’t judge you for eating a whole roll of Girl Scout cookies because you were sad.
And who don’t assume you like Twinkie’s
Because I really don’t like Twinkie’s
NOT ALL FAT PEOPLE LIKE TWINKIES
But I still think about what he said sometimes
And how every other time he joked about my weight
It made made feel even heavier
Like I might sink through the earth itself
And while everyone was getting the talk about the birds and the bees from their parents
I was getting the one about BMI
About how being fat is bad for me
But how being fat is what I’ll always be
Because of something called genes
But not skinny jeans
No not ever skinny jeans
And my weight has always been the elephant in the room
So I suppose I’m used to being called the elephant in the room
But that doesn’t make it hurt any less
You see it just doesn’t work like that
And with every insult thrown like a spear at my heart,
It was harder and harder to pull it back out again.
What they don’t realize is that sticks and stones can break your bones
But words can sometimes kill you.
And I am learning to let go of the words
Little by little
With every poem that I write
With every man I confused for home
Which is to say I haven’t given up yet
And the flags on my walls
Are reminders of the battles I’ve already fought
And the miracles that led to me standing here today
So when the boys at school call me a planet,
It’s because they can’t resist my gravitational pull
The way they spit insults to my face
And then send me nudes behind their phones.
And maybe they call me a planet because they expect me to be a star
Or maybe it’s the way I shine in the darkest nights every time
Or perhaps it’s how they only see me at night and expect me to be gone in the morning.
But not every star disappears with the dawn
I am still here!
And if I could write a letter to every fat kid who they called the moon
I would remind them how many beautiful things have been inspired by the moon
Every poem or song and it isn't for nothing
She is gorgeous
And if I could write a letter to every kid
who they called an elephant or a whale,
Or who they teased about food.
I would tell them I hear you
And I see you
And I know how badly you hurt
And how the world seems to be fighting so hard to make us extinct
But we are still here
And someday things will get better
Whether you lose weight or not
And people will still hate you whether you lose weight or not
And some people will never stop choosing to hate.
But you don’t have to.
You see, you my dear are the star they will write songs about
The great whale they will write books about
And every planet in this solar system will remember your name
Because bigger might not always be better
But you can be damn sure
They will never forget you