The Poetry Snapshot: Another Corner of the Bedroom

I walk into my bedroom tonight.
Like second nature after a long, busy day,
I get up to turn off the light
and scroll my time and confidence away.

But the fan on the ceiling distracts me.
The blades create a patterned shadow on the walls
and the breeze touches my face lightly.
Have I not felt this before?

And then I am bothered by the crooked lamp on the table.
A soft buzz emanates from the fluorescent static
and it stands there mocking me with its instability.
Have I not seen this before?

Finally my eyes wander over to a marathon medal.
The shiny bronze engraving hangs on a white and blue ribbon
and makes a systematic click every so often.
Have I not heard this before?

 Source: One Point Perspective Drawings

I get up to turn off the light,
Like second nature, I assume.
But as I sit on the floor
in another corner of the room,
I realize this is not my bedroom.

A Beautiful Body

Your body reminds me of one of those statues, like that of a Greek goddess

Your words invoked tears and a gentle smile

I don’t know if you knew it then or even now

But that’s one of the best things someone has said to me

I made a promise to love myself

When I look at my body in the mirror

With its curves and flab and indented ridges of stretched skin

My frown dissipates

My body is like that of a Greek goddess

I wrote this poem during a time in which I felt particularly insecure about my body. As I said in a previous post, I’m new to this whole poetry thing, but I feel as though this poem—or at least this attempt at one—was the best means of expressing how I felt at the time. I know I’m not supposed to have to explain what a poem means, but I think it deals with an important subject of people’s ever-increasing worries about their “quarantine bodies.”

It’s no secret that many people go through times when they grapple with body-image issues. It seems like we more often receive negative feedback than positive, and dealing with insecurities about one’s body can be a struggle. When confronting these issues, you can look at the comparison of a woman’s body to that of Aphrodite. Now, Aphrodite is the Greek Olympian goddess of love, beauty, sexual pleasure, and fertility. Many stories portray her as the epitome of female beauty, and it has been said that men can’t help but fall in love with her.

While Aphrodite is said to be infinitely enchanting and desirable, she is also depicted as human-like in many physical renderings. She has beauty, but she also has flaws. This doesn’t mean you have to look identical to Aphrodite’s statue to be beautiful, but rather contributes to an understanding of respect. If the body a statue represents is respected, why can’t yours be? What is it about Aphrodite’s curves and rolls that are impossibly different from yours?

Perspective matters, as does artistic expression. Rather than idealizing the images shown in social media and advertising, which often inundate us with objectified or altered depictions of the human body, turn to art. Art doesn’t exclusively characterize the human body as a product. It represents a variety of body types that have been embraced throughout different cultures and different times. Art is also vulnerable to different interpretations. There is no one, singular perfect piece of art that all other artwork is meant to emulate. Similarly, idolizing one set body type diminishes the natural beauty that resides in each unique body. Statues that depict Greek gods and goddesses are works of art and so are human bodies.

The Poetry Snapshot: I am a Runner

I am a runner.
I am proud.

I run up mountains.
I run through the night.
I run in the snow.
I run past finish lines.

And then I keep running.

    Detroit Free Press Half Marathon 2019

I run from my feelings.
Growing up to be strong
has made me afraid of my emotions.
So I run.

I run from my insecurities.
Years of being complimented on false confidence
has made me lock up my real anxieties.
So I run.

I run from intimacy.
Losing the people I open up to
has taught me to never let my guard down.
So I run.

Running.
A form of strength,
I manage to turn into my weakness.

I am a runner.
I am not proud.

The Poetry Snapshot: An Interlude of Solitude

There is a stillness in solitude that scares people.
It’s in the silence of your voice,
because your thoughts speak for itself.
Your mind starts to wander;
to places you have forgotten,
and spaces you always get lost in.

There is a stillness in solitude that scares people.
It’s in the safety of human connection.
The warmth of a hug and the love in a kiss,
that no one wants to let go of.
It’s a feeling that makes you reminiscent,
of an embrace and the loss of innocence.

There is a stillness in solitude that scares people.
It’s in the songs that bring you back to your childhood.
When you close your eyes and feel the same emotions
after the hundredth time you listen to it.
A melody from that drive with your friends,
and a beat worth dancing till the weekend ends.

There is a stillness in solitude that scares people.
It’s in the stories you have collected,
that you have no one to share with.
The experiences you wish to tell others,
so you can relive your happy moments,
give back a praise worth notice,
and forgive with sincere condolence.

There is a stillness in solitude that scares people.

Neha Allathur Photography © Toronto Love Lock