This poem came about from the indelible human habit of looking in the mirror and evaluating what is seen. Who knows, it could be a habit so ubiquitous that every alien race that has or will exist nervously looks at their reflection and gives themselves a grade. There could be an alien at this very moment looking in a mirror or galactic equivalent wondering why his tentacles have to be so droopy. A part of me hopes that is true, misery loves its company. Ah, but that was depressing. Though I don’t mean it to be. We all have something that we like or don’t like about ourselves, be it a freakishly large Adam’s apple (talking about myself here) or something else. I swear that my Adam’s apple looks like I tried to eat something too large to swallow, now whatever it is is lodged cartoon style in my neck. Point is, we all have something we would like to change, some people more than others. And whether that thing should be changed, embraced, or abhorred is a personal decision. I hesitate to name the point of the poem as I want you to interpret it for yourself. I have my own ideas about this topic, but I truly believe that the beauty of art lies in its subjectivity, so take from it what you will. If there has to be a point, I would say it’s that you’re awesome. Hope you enjoy.
This is a story
about a boy and a girl
who both have a sneakily implanted with a bias against what’s real.
Their unconscious artists are left unchecked, look into a mirror and play around with the lines pushing them inwards or outwards until all that’s left
is an illusory state-fair caricature that compares them to bad adjectives rather than looking at some pretty rad attributes.
when she looks in the mirror,
the lines unconsciously guided bulge outward,
press against the boundaries of chubby into disproportionately rotund until she feels she’s well into fat.
So the girl is prone to obsess.
Otherwise the princess dress or crop top and short shorts will have to be postponed for fear of not getting a collective right swipe from the public.
It may seem drastic or even spurious but malnourished is just a state of mind and symptoms include progress.
when he looks in the mirror,
The lines unconsciously guided squeeze inward,
evaporate the boundaries of skinny into disproportionately scrawny, until he feels he’s downright weak.
So the boy is prone to obsess.
Otherwise the knight’s armor or muscle tee’s and skinny jeans will need extra padding to make it seem like he could protect anything.
It might seem drastic or even spurious but supplemental substance abuse is not a thing, who ever heard of taking too many supplements?
One day the boy and the girl met, of all places, across from each other in lines at a food court.
The girl was a small, almost invisible mark at a vegan’s only salad stand.
The boy took up two places at a meat heavy sandwich shop.
It wasn’t love at first sight.
But after they got their food and sat a few tables away, they ended up sharing more than a few surreptitious glances.
thought that girl was small enough, spare enough, he might actually be able to protect her, if nothing else from disappearing.
The girl thought that the boy might actually have enough heft to deal with her past regrets.
It was a match made in a heaven knocked slightly askew.
Then the girl said a timid hello that belied the strength it took to take the first step
and the small talk ensued with the social glue that is pop-culture, sports, and weather.
It went better than either could have expected.
And days, months, years passed with them adding post after post of rebar support to the glue of their connection
after learning what a mortgage is
and having a few kids
they were just in time to wonder how they had all got there.
They took turns staring at each other while they thought the other slept, interminable minutes rumbled by.
They had long known that their relationship was started, one could even say founded, on weirdly compatible external pressures.
that twisted lines far past nature’s intended design. It didn’t matter.
The girl as a woman had found her healthy place.
Like a polynomial regression she had just the right amount of curves.
She had become a mathematician to understand lines and how they shift.
The boy as a man had found his healthy place.
Like a well-done abstract painting his muscles had just the right amount of definition without any supplemental information.
He had become an artist to understand the impact of the non-physical.
They had found something good.
It wasn’t perfect, this isn’t a fairy tale.
Those aren’t realistic anyways.
They could each remember times when fighting was simply therapy.
When the boy now a man had been attracted to other curves,
when the girl now a woman had realized definitions change with each new edition, but it didn’t matter.
They knew all this while they took turns looking at each other while they thought the other slept.
But before their eyes closed tight at the end of the night and shut the lock on the outside they realized
they had found something good, and it was enough.
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