Rock River Poetry Contest state winner
This week, the Rock River Poetry Contest presents the
Illinois state winner, Allison Joseph of Carbondale.
At Seventeen I Learned the Truth
Once I was parchment-thin, vellum-slender,
bones sharp as razors slicing soap.
Sandpaper skin, truculent armpits, tarpaper breath,
I tried to tame them with Avon creams, Loves
Baby Soft perfume, Certs stinging my tongue sweet.
But self-beautification wasnt easy in the Bronx;
I wasnt the Brooke Shields of Screvin Avenue.
Actually, I was fat, no teenaged hottie,
flab making me schools smartest girl.
Shake, shake, shake, shake your booty
the constant drip of disco music weighed
on me, heavy as a cut, stoppered.
I couldnt dance then, but could fly,
but only when Allie let herself forget her weight.
I will rise in language, sing my caustic song.
Fat self and thin self will merge.
Mama said una boca grande would be
the death of me, the frown of fake designer
jeans tight across my knobby knees, chubby thighs.