to the girl who needs to hear it
There are 206 bones in the human body and thirty minutes until the bell rings,
stop the chit chat because this is fifth grade health class and today we are talking about growing up,
make sure you eat right and smile more and don't do drugs...
or is it smile right, do drugs more, and don't eat?
Moving on, it doesn't matter, get your calculators out because today we are learing how to calculate body mass index,
can you say body mass index, kids?
Welcome to the number game,
to memorizing the calories in a chocolate milk carton and how long you have to jump rope to burn them off,
we walk home thinking small thoughts and practicing how to take up less space,
teacher says things get easier when you're older but I believed mama when she called me beautiful right up until the day I walked in on her watching the way her bare stomach buckled in the bathroom mirror, right up until I saw the tears in her eyes,
and this is not to say I blame her for the days when I do not feel beautiful but rather to acknowledge that we failed her too.
there are 206 bones in the human body but baby you are so much more than a skeleton, and I know they taught you that hating this body was the same as helping it,
and it is so fucking hard to be gentle with yourself because big kids don't cry,
so count this as me throwing a tantrum.
This body has danced to so many songs alone in my bedroom, and I love her.
This body has pet so many dogs, and I love her.
This body has bled and bloated and broken... and I love her.
and some days I do not want to, but mama taught me that love is unconditional.
There are 206 bones in the human body and I don't know if learning to love this body gets any easier, but maybe it is enough to try.