These absinthian moods

Dissolve in occupancy

This heart, worm-ridden,

Collapses under pressure

Creases at every seam

Slips morosely

Into the small intestine

Assimilates in the cells


Incoherent filaments adrift

A nameless pain

An insipid hunger

Appeased in the simple act

Of mastication

All I ever wanted

Was to feel whole


The warmth of consumption

Rekindles my tongue

A tongue palate-stitched

In the presence of injustice

I became

That which I kept


The punishing guilt

The shame

Demons whose physiognomy

Overtook my own

Demons who destroy

The lovers they seize


I am invincible in darkness

The way I endure

Even when reduced

To nothing

I wear a child’s smile

That you might hesitate

To strike

I speak to myself

In your voice, father

If I am not beautiful

If I am not promiscuous

Then I will never be loved

I am neither

So I stand with the weight

Of this extra flesh

And I pretend

That food can fill

Every void within


If I grow bigger than you

Perhaps then you will not possess

The power to hurt me

The desire to rape me

I will be as formidable

And concentrated as stone

A holy monolith

Complete in and of itself


When I was a child I was overweight and though I am now a healthy weight and have not been overweight for years (a few pounds overweight right after I gave birth) I still struggle with food. I think of food obsessively. When I finish one meal I am planning the next. I won’t go out if I don’t think food will be readily available. I can eat horrific amounts and don’t get full the way others do (an empty stomach freaks me out) I almost never go back for seconds but I will never leave a plate uncleaned so I always portion my plate properly so I can eat everything on it. I hate my body emotionally even though intellectually I understand it is a normal body, a good body in what it allows me to do but I look at it and I still see that fat girl. While usually I tune society out I admit the unrealistic expectations get to me as well.



31 thoughts on “Absinthian

  1. There is no fat, there is nothing wrong with anyone’s body. We just need to be comfortable in the body we have. I am not but I would like to be. Because all such social notions regarding beauty would go to the dumpster if we allow ourselves to be like how we are. If only we find beauty in ourselves…
    Powerful verse…

    1. I have moments when I think I am alright but it is amazing how few and far between they are not just for me but I have friends absolutely gorgeous and they also lament about their figures. I actually do like one thing about my body the way it distributes fat sort of everywhere so I am pretty balanced. Society’s standards are pretty scary even with my messed up self-perception I know women should have curves and enough fat for menstruation (I do not want a 6 pack myself). Right now there is a push for ultra low body fat and ultra thin legs. I think shape and tone in the leg is nicer personally. I wish I could see myself like my husband does sometimes because he is so happy with my body he never complains lol

  2. So many expressive words in your poetry. It really caught me when I read it. I wish the best for your future and your fight with food. I know how hard it can be, because food is something we can’t avoid forever.

  3. Food can have such a powerful psychological hold on us as it is so dependable and readily available. It is hard to see past the self that you were if you are still looking through the same eyes. Fresh eyes, fresh start, fresh opportunities in every day, in every moment, to make different choices. You write so beautifully; it hurts to hear that you hate your physical self when your inner self is so magnificent.

    1. Thank you so much =) I hope I will overcome the food demon I have managed to keep myself a healthy weight (after losing the childhood weight) despite my emotional turmoil and to eat good foods more often than not. Luckily I love healthy food as well

  4. Very powerfull verses, that second verse was just oozing confesion, your poems always leave a striking effect, you simply cannot read them and remain the same.
    I am a food addict myself, I still have all the pregnancy weight and I hate it, but I love food. Same like you wrote, I am obssesed with planing meals and sometimes I accept to go out and go somewhere just because I know there will be food there. I wish you strenght on this journey versus the food demon, for it is most defenately not an easy one, as well as accepting ourselves and accepting that we are so much more then just our bodies.

      1. Thank you I like this picture to because it is weird lol It took me forever to lose the pregnancy weight! I stayed the same weight down to the ounce for a full year! It took me a long time to get my abdominal strength back as well because my daughter was a big baby, lots of Pilates! I did get my abs back pretty well I have some stretch marks that are permanent (I got stretch marks 4 days before she was born she was late a week, I would have lucked out if she came on time lol) I have thyroid issues too (my thyroid is dying and I will have hypothyroidism permanently when it goes, it is genetic on both sides) right now my weight bounces around even while I eat and exercise the same. Sometimes I randomly get underweight sometimes randomly gain it is very unstable and frustrating!

  5. Beautifully written. So powerful and honest. You are so beautiful and I don’t care what your body weight is. Your beauty shines from your mind and heart into your words. 🙂

  6. Your poem struck so many chords – the reasons why food is the MOST powerful drug and so hard to deal with if you are addicted to it. Food also keeps me grounded – if I am not heavy, full, stuffed, I will float away into nothingness.

  7. some really wicked lines in this…All I ever wanted
    Was to feel whole…and i became what i imprisoned…dang, that one def was inspired….the need to feel whole though is def the heart of this for me…

  8. Brian is right (as usual) some really great favorite.”I am invincible in darkness”..
    It is not un-normal to dislike our own bodies…we compare them to all we see and what we feel is beautiful. Winning the battle starts with understanding your own inner struggles and dealing with them as I do with my inner rage…now if I could only win the battle with food…well come to think of it I always win..I devour every thing within reach…

  9. So many of us can relate to this. I think we all have an emptiness that we try to fill with something whether it’s with food, nicotine, alcohol etc. maybe that emptiness is in reality our belief that we are not enough as we are. Really powerful, honest writing in this poem. Wonderfully crafted.

  10. Candice, I have always been fat and now I am what you will say overweight or obese. I could not be bothered because I am healthy. i don’t have any non-communicable or life style diseases and never will (thank God.) I am human though and sometimes I wish I could be slimmer. But on the whole I’m ok with the way I am.

    That is very powerful, sad and haunting poem you’ve written my dear.

    1. I am overjoyed that you are healthy and happy Celestine =) When I was overweight I didn’t physically feel well, I had a poor diet and no exercise. If I had had a good diet with exercise and been overweight I don’t think I would have gotten so sick. In the beginning all I wanted was to get healthy, I really didn’t bother about the scale at all. A lot of the women in my family are big with thyroid problems I don’t think it even occurred to me that I could get slim. I did lose the weight though and when I realized I could and that I felt better I tried to stick with the healthy lifestyle, it isn’t always easy though! I would be fine if not for my brain and my silly unfounded insecurities

  11. So often women, myself included, have used food to try to gain control when they have felt out of control. Your poem expresses the conflicts around food and body image painfully well.

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