The Before People

There is a moment when they turn
to the ads that are meant for them
and are happy, a moment when the fat woman
thinks of melting her body away in seven days,
and the shut-in imagines big money
without leaving his home. Slowly,
as if for the first time, they read
the italics of their deepest wishes:
Made $5,000 in first month,
Used to call me Fatty, and all
the people with no confidence,
no breasts, or hair in the wrong places,
find pictures of the amazing results
in their own states. They have overlooked
the new techniques and the research
of doctors in Germany, they know that now,
suddenly so pleased they can hardly
remember being sad in this, their moment,
before, just before they lie back on the beds
in their small rooms and think about how foolish
they are or how farfetched it is or anything
except the actual photographs of their dreams.

-Wesley McNair