did you lose weight?
“did you lose weight?”
and I thought about all the other questions
she could have asked instead.
“how are you and do you think about dying, do you wonder how many people you’ll love before the sun ends its fling with reflection, what venom did your mother feed to you and what daisies did she wrap round your temples? how many homeless people do you actually give change to, do you think any orgasm is better than the first one you ever had, do you believe in heaven, ocean air or mountain air, isn’t it wild we can grow life inside of us, salty or savory or both, and who are you when you’re alone?
“I doubt it.” I said.
which was the first thing I could think of, instead of “I haven’t stepped on a scale in five years and I have spent so much time turning off pre-destined alerts telling me to look at my stomach in the mirror and do you know in the year since you’ve seen me my company became a non-profit and I found out I could fall in love with a woman and I wrote and published an entire book and spent 300 hours training to be a better yoga teacher and I am so tired and I am so happy and in a single instant you have reduced my drive to diet my fantastic to fitness and my brilliance to a body that serves no purpose to you except comparison.
“well, you look really skinny.”
and a world between that and my reply.
and every myspace picture every suck it in every boy poking my stomach every bloated period the time a copper IUD tricked my hips so much that a stranger congratulated me, the calorie counting app the five miles I ran every day for six months, skinny bitch, cosmo, low rise jeans, my prom dress, don’t tag me in that, no dessert for me, I worked out twice today, dressing on the side and dear god Haley you have moved mountains and if you say thank you they will bury you.
“oh.” I said.
and I walked out the door, grinning.
and I watched my thoughts with some kind of ancient wisdom I’ve worked so hard to find, and I saw all of the ways I could have combed my own flesh for answers of self-worth’s stupid questions, and instead I punched my fist into the air and cheered. because I did not say thank you.
because my gratitude is reserved for whatever miracle met me and gave me this impossible life of beauty.
and forgiveness must tell you that anger should never be wasted on another woman, when it is my privilege to proclaim my body as mine and not the medias. and I pray freedom finds you like it did me, but goodness life is long and lessons find us when it is time.