“You could be a model”

Paul Wong
Photo Illustration by BRETT MOUNTAIN/Daily

my mother consoled me

as she piled my thick, entangled

golden hair on top of my head.

A fluorescent green piece of paper sat

crumpled in my young hands.

It declared that I too

could be a flawless image of


if only I sent them a photo and

a hundred dollars.

Her bright sapphire eyes pierced

into the emerald ones she created in me,

that now glimmered

fighting against tiny drops of water.

“You could be a monster”

I thought as I looked at my

gawky reedish reflection

in the smooth lake of glass

beyond the thin, worried figure

perched in front of me-

a bird hovering over her young.

A repulsive monster with long yellow fangs

ready to destroy, starve tender

hungry flesh

as it feasted off visions of

slender beauty.

The monster is inside me.

It forces me to drop warm, gooey cookies

Run an extra mile at practice

Drink 8 bottles of water a day

Chain myself to the blinking, blood


numbers of the scale.

It slowly became me.




The monster taunted the growing reed of a girl,

a pesticide

killing the one who loved to race sleek, strong horses through

billowing seas of wild waves of

green grass

and scale the rough bark of young apple trees.

She loved to pluck its tiny green rocks

to pelt the frustrating neighbor boys.

The boys were the monster:

staring at the pictures of those


with their waterfalls of silky hair

flawless porcelain skin

full red lips

thighs like straight twigs

She put a frail arm around me

shaky from all the black, bitter coffee

she loved, pulling me from imaginary


of my cottage cheese thighs.

“Green bean”

she has always called me

when I was that girl.


She was afraid

I would snap too.

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