Skinny Girl | Chapter and Verse | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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Skinny Girl

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When I was 13 I read Seventeen
like it was the Bible and Ann Shoket 
was Jesus reincarnated, dressed my fruit-salad 
shaped apple-pear-orange under-ripened 
body like it told me to because I wanted
to define my flat-chested, heavy-hipped,
not-skinny-girl body like I was supposed to.
And when I was 13 I ate the word “skinny” 
for breakfast like a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios 
in spoiled milk, sobbed when I had to wear shorts 
to baton practice because that’s where the skinny 
girls were and I was never a skinny girl.
And when I was 13 I made Mom cry
because I said I hated myself; pinched
my belly and poked my stretch marks
until she threatened to duct-tape my hands.
Only skinny girls were supposed to love
themselves, and when I was 22 I sold 
my virginity to a man who grabbed my thighs 
and my breasts like pulling apart a chicken
for dinner because I thought
good sex was only for skinny girls.

— Deidra Balchak

Belle Vernon native Deidra Balchak is a recent graduate of Carlow University, earning a BS in biology. Her work has been published in the most recent edition of Carlow University’s literary and art journal The Critical Point. Many writers featured in Chapter & Verse are guests of Prosody, produced by Jan Beatty and Ellen Wadey. Prosody airs every Saturday morning on 90.5 FM.


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