Eliza Swan

Apostate’s Creed

My body image coach said: 

take a hammer to your scale. 

Throw it out. Heart pounding, 

I hoist sacred artifact 

of self-control over dumpster lip. 


Someone I respect said: 

the best thing I ever did for my health was get fat. 

That is to say, she freed herself from 

the pursuit of shrunken flesh, 

found liberty to live 

her life. 


She, like me, can walk into a grocery store 

bejeweled with towers of holiday treats, 

feel a sense of peace inside on account of privilege: 

income, self awareness, that is to say intuition 

which she trusts to tell her 

when she is hungry, when she is full, 

what she likes, what she does not like, 

and when another human is saying something unkind 

[under a thin veil of “health advice”].


She and I believe 

in the wisdom of the body, 

dwelling under heaven on earth, 

sensing the seen and unseen. 

Honed every living moment, 

of one essence with the Mystery: 

evolutionary creativity, the force 

of life that made us.


Eliza Swan lives in Houston, TX, where she has read her ekphrastic work at Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston and the Menil Collection with Words and Art, a reading series. Her poems have been published by the Thin Air*, Thimble, The Local Train and High Shelf Press among others. December 2019 marked her feature performance debut with Coast2Soul Poetry in Galveston.

 Follow her on Instagram @ instagram.com/swanwrites and check out her website swanwrites.org.

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