I Was Fat in Japan Too, Jessie Carty

Author: Sierra Nakano

I was fat in Japan too, Jessie Carty, but I didn’t realize

until I got there. I didn’t know it until the medium, large then extra

large, did not fit me. Neither did the “one-size-fits-all,”

bullshit. I didn’t know until Koharu told me she was a size medium, and trying

to lose weight. I was fat in Japan too, Jessie Carty but

 

I have not been groped.

Only a black man has told me to “back dat ass up,”

whatever that means. I was fat in Japan too, Jessie Carty, with a vocabulary full

of food lingo I thought was necessary. I eat gohan every day and onigiri

often. And okonomiyaki is to die for. But all the tabemono here is just too good

 

to pass up. I was fat in Japan too, Jessie Carty,

but so was this man. He wore a stretched out, orange t-shirt

showing his support for the Chicago Cubs. His dark

skin and immense hair attracted a small group of teens,

who asked to take a picture with him. I was fat in Japan too,

 

Jessie Carty, and my teal shirt amongst the dark, plain suits and skirts

solitarily sitting on the Tokyo Metro, could not hide it. My skinny jeans

emphasized my large thighs and that purple jellyfish painted on my leg,

did less to disguise, labeling me as gaijin. I was fat

in Japan too, Jessie Carty

 

and when I ordered yakitori

at a small wooden shack, my stomach yearned

for a sweet, fish-shaped pancake pillow filled

with red bean. But instead, the server handed me

three steaming skewers of meat.

 

I was fat in Japan too, Jessie Carty, and as I walked down the streets

of Shibuya, a camera as my necklace, tall metallic and brilliantly

bright buildings stared at my every step. Only then

did I realize there was absolutely nothing

I could do to blend in.

________________________________________________________________

This poem is a response to this poem by Jessie Carty

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