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Poem-Naked

by Crystal Torres on July 16, 2017

I have never looked like the images that were sold to me as beautiful
My curves are so full, they have curves of their own
When I was younger
my lovers tried to hold me
while I tried to hold in my belly
keep the lights low
get under the covers
Please, don’t touch me there,
where I’m soft
imperfect
I tried to be a fantasy
though I’m not sure who’s fantasy I was
I wore uncomfortable clothes
over more uncomfortable underclothes
I’m older
Now, I wear clothes I can move in
My curves are giving in slowly to gravity’s seduction
I will never be shaped like the girl I was
let alone the shapes I tried to be
This face has been places
it has lines like a map
written by the Mojave sunshine
If I smile big enough you might see where the treasure’s hidden
I have no tolerance for lovers
I can’t trust to see me
with my curves rolling
Please, touch me there
where I am soft
imperfect
My body is strong
alive, electric
hungry for touch
Know me as I am
with nothing hidden

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It has been years now since I’ve had a lover to see me naked. In some ways, I think it is this very solitude that has been good for me. I’ve become more comfortable in my own skin without anyone else to use as a mirror. My body and I have gone from enemies, to an uneasy truce, to a comfortable alliance. Now we take care of each other. I wake up without pain most days. I try to give my body rest and nourishment and hydration. In exchange, it gives me energy and hard work, and I’m really trying to make more time for my body and I to play too. I enjoy having a body. I enjoy having this body.

In my lonely years, I wrote obsessively about kisses. My lips still yearn. The thing is it was hard to imagine what came after kisses. In the movies, the leading man and the leading lady finally kiss and either the screen fades to black or they start taking off clothes, exposing more physical perfection with each layer removed. I have never looked like that with my clothes off. Bodies like mine aren’t shown naked on screen, unless they’re the punchline.

For years I tried to punish my body into being smaller. I refused to feed it, to touch it, to love it. I tried to starve myself into something very small. I just kept getting bigger. My head hurt, my body ached, my skin was dry and flaky. I was a mess and I couldn’t keep the weight off. I’d always gain back any losses and then some. 

I’m still struggling with healthy habits. I’d live on sweet coffee drinks if that were an option. I want to be productive at least twenty hours a day but, apparently, I need sleep and I don’t understand why salad greens have to be a thing, but I’m trying. I’m trying to take care of my body and it may not show in my dress size, but I don’t have a headache today. I didn’t have a headache yesterday, either. Waking up without a headache has stopped being an event. It’s just a thing now. I feel healthy. Healthy feels sexy.

Here I am with all of this health and freedom and I can do what I want. I’m realizing that what I want may not always be this solitary. Maybe I could take a lover, I mean, after the weeds are whacked and I’ve caught up on my chores, and I’ll probably change my mind once the fall semester starts and I’m busy with schoolwork, and I don’t talk to strangers and my friends already know how strange I am. It’s not bloody likely, I admit. Still, it’s possible.

Pondering that possibility reminded me that if I had a lover, they would probably see me naked. I kinda want to issue disclaimers. Like, you know it’s the bra that holds these things up like that, contents may settle when cage-free. There are parts of me as blinding as moonlight reflecting off fresh snow and all of me is soft. Soft in good ways, ‘cause now that I’m not afraid to eat anything with a fat content I’ve stopped being a scaly, lizard person, but also, I’m squishy.

I’m still a little bit afraid that I’ll get to that point where someone and I are taking off our clothes for the first time and they won’t like what they’ve unwrapped. I felt that way even when I was younger/smaller, though. The thing is, when I look back on my sexual past. There isn’t anyone who I think I would have liked better if they’d been a different weight, or if they hadn’t had stretchmarks, or birthmarks, or scars. There are a handful I wish had been kinder, more patient, more honest. Still, not a single one who’s body I would change. It wasn’t a friggin’ bathing suit competition. It still isn’t. I loved them, and their bodies, as they were. I loved exploring ways to give them pleasure. I loved the pleasure their bodies gave me.

So yeah, it’s been years, and at the rate I’m going, it might be a few more. It’s just, I’m getting to really like living in this body. Finally. And maybe if the stars align, and I catch up on work and home and stuff, and I shut up long enough to let somebody get close enough to kiss me, it might not be the end of the world to let somebody see me naked. There are a lot of fun things I want to do with this body. Falling in love might be one of them. That’s all.

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