Not That Woman
Ive crossed Pittsburghs bridges in my beat-up Dodge Neon
into other townships leaving the inner city.
Id drive deep into suburbia parking
under the street lights of Ross Townships North Park before dawn.
On McKnight Rd., sometimes McDonalds drive-through
for flaccid tiered-pancakes with imitation syrup, but mostly
it was my stash of Hostess Ho Hos from the glove compartment.
I could eat so many. They went down easy,
but most importantly after months of trial
they came up the easiest.
Wiping my mouth, Id readjust myself
in the bathroom mirror
pulling my hair back in a tight ponytail.
I felt cleansed and high
from the endorphins that purging brings.
Even now, I remember that rush,
better than any drink, drug, or sex.
What I hated was the day in front of me
with its endless possibilities. There was never enough space
in my body, so I looked elsewhere.
Sometimes other bodies sometimes travel.
Back at the car Id take my antidepressant and mood stabilizer
then light a Marlboro
while playing Marlene Dietrichs husky Falling in Love Again.
I looked like every other female-running-SUV-driving suburbanite,
and that was exactly what I wanted.
I wasnt that woman who couldnt make a phone call, couldnt
open her mail or face debt collectors. I wasnt her,
the one who lost a job, a car, a house, and a husband.
Nor was I the woman with a graduate degree
on medical assistance and food stamps. But there, not that woman,
I could eat what I wanted; I could manifest my day:
running past the sound of a good tennis match and
children feeding geese. Refueling at the boathouse, I watched the lake rise and fall
as the seasons passed.
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