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The Fat People of the Old Days

Oddly, being so large
gave them a sense
of possibility.

Women with huge upper arms
felt freer.

Children never stopped opening
the landscapes of flesh
which grew in their hands.

The few thin ones
were called “chinless”
because their chins seemed
indistinguishable from their necks.

No one knows when the thin ones
began to seem beautiful,
when the fat people first worried
about weight.

A woman came to fear
her elbows and knees
were sinking into dimples

A man believed his chin,
which shook when he talked,
was also speaking.

For many years the fat life continued.

Each day inside strange
houses with wide doors,
fathers rose folding themselves
into their pants.

Each night the families
dreamed of bones
hung forever in fat’s
locked closet.

-Wesley McNair