Liposuction for everyone who can recite
the Pledge of Allegiance! Lip gloss, Lee
press-On Nails arrive weekly in the mail.
The turkey is always fat free & the cottage
cheese is nothing but protein. Helicopters
drop leaflets, but in truth, no one understands
the food pyramid. & so I’m inconsolable—
I can’t get rid of these love handles. The woman
in the radio tells me to eat more hearts
of palm but I don’t know
what they look like. Bundles of skin-
tight tracksuits are thrown on each stop
like the morning paper & I think gastric
bypass is the answer for me. I stay up late
& cut out coupons for Botox injections,
but there’s no money left, so I whiten
my teeth with bleach. I toss & turn in the middle
of the night, listening to Wide-Awake Sammy
riffle through the trash outside. He doesn’t sleep
& I can’t stop thinking about my love
handles. When I turn the kitchen light on,
I can see him out there—filling his bag
with recyclables, his belly with whatever drops
from the half-empty cans. At the table, I fondle
my love handles & tell the cat that I’m not afraid
of science. Cut ‘em right off me & feed ‘em
to the dogs. But I have to admit, I’ve been
disappointed—you can’t taste the range
in those free-range hogs. I say let all of the beef
be beef fed. I want night vision
after eating a plate of salmon. Let the teats
of cows drip with the sweetest honey. I want
my baby spinach made with real, 100% baby.

Copyright © 2010 Alex Lemon. “Beautification Campaign” originally appeared in Fancy Beasts (Milkweed Editions, 2010). Reprinted with permission of the author.