Belinda – means beautiful.

At 4 a.m., when I think about bodies, I think about being pretty-fat.
I dwell on the mushy, flabby pouch that surrounds my waist like a weight from when time began. There, under the skin, stagnant like a murky, lifeless swamp causing a darkness, it crushes down my outlook, hiding the beauty in my face.
Cuddled into the couch at 9 a.m., I feel the weight of the rolls, long gone, still resting on my lap – the ghost of fat calling away my sexy like a lost appendage. It haunts me from the cupboard across the room. There, under the newspaper clippings from 1951, my grandmother’s yellowing “Etiquette for Girls” pamphlet reminds me, tells me I’m not fit to share my longing. It might linger, hiding in some blindness. Hide the pretties!
I sit, alone at the table at noon, too much flab where I don’t want it, not enough the one place women do. I’ve wasted countless hours imagining what it would be like…
To be appealing – able turn my tire into voluptuous wheels.
To feel the softness as pretty.
To be un-fat, maybe even skinny.
To believe my daughters when they say, at 4 p.m., I look lovely like a cloud, a rainbow, a sparkle in the glittering sun.
I want to read their ballads instead. I watch them dance around the tree, free.
At 7 p.m. I burn that old pamphlet in the kitchen – hoping the flames ignite their stories, their bodies, their ambitions. They will not think un-pretty.



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