Weighty Words

by Nick Anthony

How can a word cut to my core?
Slicing and slashing its swooping sword,
It amputates limb and severs artery;
Once under my skin, it becomes a part of me. 

Fervently it festers unseen and unheard,
Eluding a simple diagnosis of words,
Invading my mind, body, and spirit
Until we are one, and I’ve come to fear it. 

Or maybe it’s me that I came to fear.
Engrossed in my psyche—not else do I hear.
This word, that has grown to defy definition,
Now underlies the logic of every cognition. 

Arbitrary insults, subject to people’s opinion,
Like “slut” or “stupid” can’t hold dominion
Over the hearts their arrows aim to hit,
Those words aren’t facts, the deniable doesn’t stick.

But some verbal wounds aren’t easily mended.
Their words laced with poison, are more than offensive.
These insults are truths that lack instant answer,
While insults are daggers, the truth is a cancer. 

When something that’s true is used against you,
The realization that comes is tough to subdue.
It will break you, unmake you, work through and tattoo you.
Nothing you do will askew the painful new view. 

What makes this different is the unaccepting hate.
Because who you are is not up for debate,
Yet someone has used it in anger and spite,
Declaring that you being you is simply not right. 

We set sights on ethnicity and use racial slurs,
Not realizing the damage our victims endure.
We select someone based on sexual orientation
And berate them with euphemistically brazen damnation. 

Or we call someone “fat,” as was my case.
To be honest, I don’t know how true it was in the first place,
But I do know I was forever changed by that hate,
For better or worse it made me lose weight. 

Yet some of the weight I can never lose.
Regardless of reality, my mind will choose
To see that fat boy with zits and no game.
The “little fat bastard” those assholes proclaimed. 

Unable to leave that fucking image behind,
Every day is a battle with weight on my mind.
Some days I can win and be healthy and happy,
Yet inevitably I lose and see that filthy fucking fatty. 

And even the good days are filled with anxiety,
Knowing my propriety will end, undeniably.
I can only starve myself for so long
Before carnal cravings bring a food-binge along.

Post-feast, in the thrall of depressingly engrossing
Suicidal self-loathing I’m asocial, purging and choking.
I am defined by a truth that’s no longer there,
Yet those words, so long gone, have left me ensnared.


2 Comments to “Weighty Words”

  1. Awesome. The last few stanzas especially really cut down to it–full of feeling. And even before the crescendo, fine lines such as this one leap out: “And berate them with euphemistically brazen damnation”.

    • Thank you! It’s still a work in progess. There are some rythmic issues, and I feel like my intended message gets muddled in the middle, but I’m afraid to clean it too much and lose the raw emotion with which it was composed.

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