my belly is soft // the sides of my hips are adorned with stretch marks from weight gain and physical growth; my stomach is noticeable when I do not want it to be. I have spent valuable time hiding my body, cursing it, hoping that it will miraculously shift and shrink.
my scale has been the first thing to greet me on many mornings; before coffee, before the warmth of a shower, before my thoughts can gather. the notes section of my phone is the graveyard of unwanted numbers: 184.5, 182.3, 181.9, 185.0. I shed tears more often than I shed weight; grapple with a heaviness that exceeds width of my thighs.
softly grazing my hips, tightening and slackening as my body moves, grows, shrinks, hums, my fingers graze them, these beads, cool to the touch, rolling as I roll, warming as I warm. in the mirror they glow, oranges and blues sitting taut against my skin.
in the mirror, I dance. they are noiseless until I am jumping, and then they click together, keeping time with me; click-clack, click-clack, click-clack, my feet are pounding the floor, my thighs are thunderous, my stomach is sloshing, and as my arms rise above my head, the beads slide lower. suddenly I am reaching downward to slap my palms against the floor in time to the beat; I am bent in half, and the beads rise to my rib cage and stay.
I am vibrating, humming, shaking, shifting. I stop in the middle of my room and my body is heaving, sweating, grinning; I am grinning, heaving, sweating
Isabelle Edwards is a graduate of Brown University and currently lives in Queens, New York. Deeply invested in her black heritage, she seeks spaces in which she and others can communicate their personal truths and experiences. Isabelle is invested in (r)evolution, a lover of sunflowers and all things yellow, and a writer. Her photography and writing can be found on her website Signed-Isabelle.com