abdominal liberation

Touch your belly.
Yes, feel your belly.
Your lumpy, poufy
rounded, expanding,
tender belly.

Notice
how you tense your belly.
There’s gotta be a six pack under there
from such relentless
squeezing.

We liberated from corsets
imposed by condescending men
and oppressed women
only to imprison our own bellies
in an ever-vigilant cage
of self-conscious muscle.
We’re incarcerated
in a torso-sized cell
of taut sphincters
and exhausting clenching:
sucking it in
holding it all in
humiliating and suffocating
our persecuted
and unjustly convicted belly.

Allow your beautiful
bulgy, triumphant
saggy, wise,
inflated, loyal,
flabby, patient belly
to breathe.
Notice your ample belly
pregnant with possibility
anticipating abundance
now that the babies
are finished.

Feel your center relax.
Notice that it was always there
how she does know
what she wants,
how she does not
deserve the shame.
She changes like water, naturally
but she is neither impish nor fickle.

She is not the problem.

The problem is the judges and jurists
telling her she doesn’t really know
and shouldn’t want
and shouldn’t be
and can’t have
and what if
and you’ll never.

She tires of the jailers
speaking through you.

Time to let go
and let
Be.

© S. Rinderle, September 2022

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