2:33 AM in Saugatuck

Sometimes I wish that Silvio Marsan had thought

about girls like me. That he knew the words: one size fits all

sowed doubt into my skin like a bodycon dress made for

a girl 50 pounds lighter than me.


In another world, I was born to a different mother.

A gentle woman with blood that runs white

and genes that leave me thinnerblondersofter, and

everything else I am not.


The skinny love you gave wouldn’t be enough for this version of me.

She would never believe that her love was worth less than what she saw on screen.

She wouldn’t feel like a stone weighing down all of your potential-

instead, she’d finally recognize her own.


But perhaps I was just a paperweight holding you in place,

making sure you were ready for some size-zero girl’s love

that was lightereasiermore casual than mine. Maybe she will fit into the

palm of your hand the way you always wished I could.


And so I think of the girls in the catalogs but come back to reality

when I see you in Saugatuck at 2:33 AM with someone new.

The weight will settle back into place,

and I’ll know, deep down, that these are just another fat girl’s fantasies.


Abi Vanderwall, winner of the Fall 2023 Editors’ Choice Award for Poetry

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