Fat News

Na PoWriMo DAY SEVEN 7 April 2020


I wonder: could this story be true?

Cocaine hippos (a late drug lord

ordered a twosome imported to his estate)

through their progeny, it seems,

might in time change Colombia’s fate,

(ruled by drug trade, besieged by crime)

redeem the country’s ecosystem.

I once strolled through Medellin,

cocaine capital of the world. Met

no hippopotamus, but a woman, fat,

silver-haired, her dress night-blue,

stopped me, whispered:

“quitate el reloj, hijita”,

take off your watch and bracelet too,

or they’ll chop off your hand–

saving grace in a foreign

land from a random, corpulent stranger,

without a prayer to Santa Rita.

Caesar Augustus knew it, said:

(if I remember right) “Let me have fat men,

round-headed and that sleep o’night”.

His pious wish, not trite, too late,

lean Brutus murdered him.

Botero knows it: his sculptured women

flashing luscious hips, fleshy thighs,

his mighty, massively soft-muscled men

carved from alabaster or black stone,

turned crime-riddled Medellin

into a cultural, peaceable town. 

Clearly there’s kinship with cocaine hippos,

humongous, free-ranging, meaty chunks,

akin to preextinction species, claimed

to bring unnamed paleoecological change.

The people of Tonga demanded

their king’s worthiness weighed–

an exorbitant number of pounds

round evidence of royalty.

What is it about fat bodies

that dubs them a saving grace?

Skin hugging bones rhymes

with scant health, advancing age,

plumpness is reassuring,

adipose tissue a sign of wealth,

palpable, breathing, alive,

solid corporality, sign of abundance,

imparts power of physical presence.

Presently, tonight, a royal full moon,

fat, rose-colored, round,

invites to contemplate, revere–

I’ll go outside, soon it won’t be there.

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