Buying a Swimsuit When You Feel Fat

Alma Ortman
2 min readJun 6, 2022
Photo by Alma Ortman

Check in with what’s here, they say:
close some eyes,
Listen —
first outside,
then inside:

What’s here?

What’s here is I spent the last 4 hours
buying swimsuits and sweaters with holes in them
for a body that’s going tropical in 3 weeks
and it’s the biggest it’s ever been and it will turn
40 down there, on my favorite part of a continent
with new fire burning through old ash —
and it’s tired.

I use cancer as the excuse
though the truth is I didn’t get it
and I hope there’s no
yet there
because I got too close,
so I found my ways to escape
that didn’t involve checking in —
finding solace in the silent ones,
filling fears with sleepy foods,
letting the surgeries inside,
removing organ, tumor,
inserting questions in their place like
what life do I want?

What life do you want
with how much is left?

and instead of answering
I found more questions in space
and got scared alone and cried into
books about disease and how people please
and ripped out the pages that told me to write
and listen to
my own dreams,
but first sunk into bliss masquerading as ease
that got dark, and heavy
so heavy that I find myself checking in
now quiet and large,
annoyed with my new normal
privileged throw of a card
at layered fabric and straps
that might make me feel sexy
that might make me forget
the drum is still playing,
the tree is still waiting.

Where are you now?
© 2022 Alma Ortman. All Rights Reserved



Alma Ortman

Mindful poet & lifelong learner. Musings on belonging, authentic connection, joy, spirit, body, nature, inner work, vulnerability, self-love, fierce compassion