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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Skinny Friend

To my skinny friends:
Stop staying
But you’re not fat!
Every time I complain about my body.
Because we all know you will not follow it with
you’re SO skinny you make
Victoria Secret models develop new eating disorders

I am not the 12 year old girl trading insecurity for compliments
I’m the size where people can’t publicly comment on my eating habits
but guys look at me and think
...maybe?
I don’t know the man of my dreams
because they keep swallowing me
last week I was having a surgery
and the doctor offered to scrape off my fat
while I was drunk on morphine
I woke up still listing body parts I want him to cut off

Cut off telling me my eyes are concrete lilies
pretty will never be a dress that zips up without an extra pair of fingers
My fingers point at you, skinny friend
who I know doesn’t like being called skinny friend
because no one's actually allowed to feel good about their body
they serve us all a slice of shame
but you wouldn’t have any of my strawberry cheesecake
you want to Rachel Dolezal yourself into pudge
I never worry about someone wanting me for my body
but no one says my stretch marks mean I can grow
he likes something to grab onto, not hold
We grow potholes every time we’re full

skinny friend
my voice is a vibrating chick held in human palms
when I tell mom she only laid bikinis across my sister’s bed
that my sexy is properly tucked in
when you cackle at my granny panties
I never explain they help me stand straighter
my lungs breathe smoother sucking in
I am always holding my breath
suffocating above water
I didn’t go to your pool party
I was too ashamed to stuff myself in a two piece
but ordered a swimsuit that kisses my fleshy angles
like crimson leaves across dead grass
tried it on seven times
hoping readjusting its wires
would puppeteer my cellulite

You say, let’s just work out.

but the gym is silent segregation
each pair of yoga pants shriek thin only
shriek a flickering white noise
a trembling television melting behind my eyes
beauty is in the eye of the beholder
but what if you’re too big to carry?

skinny friend
I get carried away when you talk about your body
talk about how it doesn’t fit you
I know there’s skinny shaming
but this whole society fits you
it’s you in the movies
on the magazines and lips of every man
my fingers are too sausage to reach for

photoshop is one size fits all
and the lady who works there
won’t give me a key to the dressing room
because she’s afraid I’ll stretch out the filters

skinny friend
you say fuck the sad out
I never bring boys back from the party
I’m terrified of no fabric to hide behind
that if I spilled out 
everyone’d know 
I am loose lava
melted ice cream
too much mix for the waffle fryer
that the corset of self confidence and body empowerment
has dug welts into me
that you have dug welts into me
by burrowing into your self esteem
making my dream body a graveyard
in Silence of the Lambs
the serial killer chases thick women
because they have more flesh for him to skin
the actress wasn’t even that big
and I couldn’t help thinking
even psychopaths need an excuse to want us

I’m learning no one needs an excuse to want themselves.

friend,
I write this
because I think you’re stunning
romance novel beautiful
I write this
because I’m still fighting to say
me too

Friday, October 2, 2015

Fading Tide

I am too accustomed to drowning above sea level
Gasping in a flood of forgotten memories
When you give yourself to a whirlpool
the strokes of her fingers won't wash away

When you kiss a tsunami
Spend a night 
pressed against a blushing ocean
The blue you don’t fall for
But into
You'll take razors to her waves
And snort her foam like cocaine
Like swallowing syllables
Like inhaling a song
Belugas singing operatic lullabies

Whales do not have gills
Which is to say
They do not breathe under water
Which is to say
They live half drowning
Feeding off a universe they were not built to inhabit
The sting of saltwater across their lungs

She was crinkled toes
The misplaced habitat
And you were an orca in the closet
she wasn't going back inside

You loved her more than breathing
More than the dresses you hid the gay under
You gave her the parts they told you only belonged to men 
Tasted your mother's trembles on her lips

I’ve never loved someone for their convenience
Someone who could deliver all of themselves
So I chase tidal waves
Let them step on me
because their footprint is a larger stamp of passion
than any second date

Have you ever suffocated above water?
Would you dive into acid
Because it’s the pool big enough to swallow you
Because it’s the only body that can cradle yours
Because the air you can breathe tastes like arsenic
Like cracked veins
Like open wound apologies
The stabbing empty?

I am too accustomed to drowning above sea level
Transplanting my heart into the fading tide

Contact

Ariel is available and interested in anything creative!
For spoken word performances & workshops, web & graphic design, or other writing/film projects please contact via email at arielsob@usc.edu.
New York & Los Angeles work preferred!