I wanted their bling power: they flattened large butts and extended stubby legs. My height began with the number “4” and all of my height’s potential flopped on my ass.
It was the year skinny Penny opened her locker door to show a tray of homemade lemon cookies. She suggested to the giggles of surrounding twiggy girls, “Smell.”
I looked at the tray, I looked at Mick Jagger in his skinny jeans pouting from her locker door, I looked at her gaggle of gal pals who’d coordinated that Monday to wear green Dittos. I looked down at my feet and saw fake Levis denims with raggedy edges. The edges frayed over 7-inch platform heels. It was also the year of platform shoes.
It was the year a seed was planted: I would come to wear only black. I would bring my 7-inch heels to freshman year at a college on the other side of the continent from a giggling anorexic tribe. When it rained or snowed, students from all over the world marveled at how fast I could run in them across the wet cobblestones of Columbia University.
Eileen Tabios’ latest book is SUN STIGMATA (Sculpture Poems). Forthcoming 2015 books include two poetry collections, I FORGOT LIGHT BURNSand INVENT(ST)ORY: Collected Catalog Poems 1996-2015, as well as an experimental biography: AGAINST MISANTHROPY: A LIFE IN POETRY 2015-1995. More information at http://eileenrtabios.com