MITCHELL METZ

  

A Bad Thing Indeed

"When you have tasted dinner, we shall ask you who among
men you are, for the stock of your parents can be no lost one ..."

("The Odyssey", Book IV, ll.61-2)


My big-bellied baby adores bikinis.
She seeks mirrors to primp before,
dances like an MTV diva.

Her mom offers broccoli,
retreats behind pop psychology:

better big
than body-conscious she reports,
Parents magazine on her own fat lap.

Between my chip and its dip
I grunt agreement,
forced to concede that anorexia

would be a bad thing indeed
and all our own fault now where's my ham sandwich?

Meanwhile, I quietly believe
obesity is immoral

and I can eat and eat and eat my way into this V body
because I am good.

It's a body I'll use
to flatten dads of kids
who will one day call my darling fat.

So he spoke, and taking in his hands the fat beef loin,
..., he set it before [her].
(Book IV, ll.65-6)

(Previously published in Ginger Hill, Slippery Rock University)