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Losing Five Pounds
Cathryn Cofell


How many fingers would it take?
Chopped off, lopped off
shoved down a constipated throat
that can’t get enough
of Rocky Road or pie ala mode,
or maybe mashed potatoes,
never mind that it’s me in that bowl,
lumpy white thighs, butter-lovin’ hips.
Will I add a pound for every year
and then live to be 100,
body like a snow bank?
Or one of those heavy breathers
in the back row of the theater
making heads turn, making
hands twitch to dial 911?
Is it love? Lust?
Or just an enlarged heart that makes
them pant this way?
Oh, to be the skinny daughter,
the one who got away,
who had her future told
by Madame Zorloff at the county fair
and ran like hell, and kept her mouth shut.
It’s a psychological holy war --
how I hunger and hunger
to flaunt it, taunt it, make men want it.
Don’t look away just yet. I’ve got a knife,
and so many ways to use it.

From Tiny Little Crushes (Lock Out Press).
First published in TMP Irregular.
Used here with the author’s permission.



Cathryn Cofell is a Wisconsin poet who has made most of her limited fortune in the non-profit sector and is a sucker for a good cause, meaning she's easy prey for a needy arts, social justice or mental health organization (no phone calls, please). Her fifth and latest book is titled Kamikaze Commotion, also a fitting descriptor for her poetic style, personality, and parenting prowess. You’ll find her poetry in places like MARGIE, Oranges & Sardines and NY Quarterly; learn more about her at

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