Blythe Baird – “I Didn’t Always Salivate Over Skeletons”


I come over to play at my friend’s house and a chandelier of bones
answers the door. I can see each careful
metal detail of her braces poking clearly through the skin
above her top lip. She steps on a Wii Fit Balance Board, and she is so light that the system
cannot even detect a body. She and I used to be fat together. We shared whole pans of brownies while our mothers shared concerns
regarding our weight. We understood the many ways a mother’s shame
can haunt a daughter’s body. An image of this friend
at a water park in 7th grade is still imprinted in my mind. In this memory, she jumps up,
jangling her arms and legs in excitement. When she does this, she looks exactly like
those flat skeletons hung over front doors during Halloween, the kind where you yank the string
at the top of its skull causing its glow-in-the-dark bones
to clink and clank like chimes. For years after, this was the last moment I can remember seeing an emaciated body and feeling worry instead of envy. (applause)

17 thoughts on “Blythe Baird – “I Didn’t Always Salivate Over Skeletons”

  1. i identify with her on a deep level and i was so happy when i got the notification. her words heal me in a way i never knew i needed healing.

  2. She is so amazing in how she can relate to others. I know, unfortunately, that it is a different kind of blessing to again feel grief rather than longing when I hear of someone who died by suicide.

  3. Blythe (and what a lovely name this is) is such a blessing in the way she expresses herself. Her imagery never ceases to leave me in awe. I’m glad she’s found what she’s great at.

  4. I love Blythes (probably speeded wrong sorry) poems she inspires me so much I’ve watched almost all the videos I can find and I want a poem book soooo bad

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