I was recently introduced to this artist. When reading the poem, it struck me as honest, brave, and necessary. It is a place to start the conversation about how we perceive food. Thank you Margaret for being willing to share this piece!
By Margaret Mayer
I’ve been having an affair with something since a time I can’t remember.
And you’ll only notice them if you hang around me long enough,
because their kind of like a joke that lingers a little too long after the laugh.
I remember the first time of their hurt was at my grandfathers last birthday party
And they stared at me like the sweetness of summer before the heat,
Until I felt the fire in the pit of my stomach,
and threw it all up.
It happened again at Mimi’s 7th grade birthday party with the cupcakes
and again at the cottage with the twizzlers
and again in the Sahara Desert with the handpicked dates.
And because it only happened every now and then I never considered it a problem.
But would you date someone that only rapes you once in a while?
Toxicity seeps in without consent,
like a spice you don’t notice until it’s too. much.
And I got a little spicy when my girlfriend said,
“I only eat when I’m hungry”
How about when you want to celebrate?
Or when you’re trying to deliberate?
Or when you got feelings you want to confiscate?
“Nope”, she said, “Only when I’m hungry.”
Well fuck, I thought,
as I confessed a love for something to someone
when only one of those two things can love me back.
You see – I forget that good good food is fuel. Not a tool to procrastinate feelings I’m too afraid to hold,
but a blessing to nourish my nature as a whole.
I forget that good good food is grown.
In pots, not tubs.
In soil, not sanctions.
With dirt filled hands, rather than metal claws.
I forget that they want me to forget,
because that is what feeds their fat wallets
much larger and greedier than I’ll ever be.
And I forget that food is your partner too.
That I am not alone in this affair,
but shame keeps me from knowing how to really care.
You see – This is not about telling the other we are pretty,
as that doesn’t really help us in our silent self pity.
Hell- this isn’t even about how we look!
but how we treat ourselves
when no one
It’s tough because sometimes the push in my stomach,
is less painful than the pull in my heart.
This kind of intimacy doesn’t require communication
as it’s a controlled kind of elation.
And as much as I didn’t want to write about this
(in fear of sounding “unsexy”)
I knew had to when I stood in the kitchen last week with one of the
sexiest people at the party,
and they told me they struggle with the exact same thing.
They held back a tear and told me
“Not to fear”
but I did.
and I do.
because when a substance replaces a soul,
we forget how to fully love one another.