Don’t Say Ain’t

Lithograph from erased highlight charcoal self-portrait, 2010–Martha Maggio
Ain’t nobody gonna love you like God, your mama, or you.
And ain’t nobody gonna love you ’til you do.–Martha Maggio


Walk in the room
Automatically assume
No one could ever love you

Why can’t you accept
That body they reject
Is just a vehicle for truth

The truth is–
Your beauty doesn’t come from:
A jar.
Your hair.
A great pair of: eyes, boobs, legs, shoes.
The end of a knife.

Your value is eternal, divine
Twinkle in God’s eyeshine
Not for everyone.

You are–
Far, far away from long, long ago
From freaking outer space.

So act like an alien and conquer the earth.


Or just love yourself from this rebirth.

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Karma’s Full-time Job is Being a Bitch

Bitch is working overtime.


When I was 21. I was overweight. Over 350 lbs. I think. I didn’t really keep track of my weight. I didn’t care. Everyone else cared. I hated everyone else for caring.

I knew how much I weighed because I used to donate plasma at the local plasma bank and they always weighed me on their very accurate medical scales. I think they wrote 348 one day on my chart. So we’ll just say I was 350 lbs. or more. Anyway.

I went to stay with my brother and his family in Ohio for Christmas that year. I always loved seeing my brother, his wife, and their kids. I was always attentive and ready for fun. I tried to please everyone, laugh, crack jokes and just get along. I was the ultimate get-along girl. I just wanted peace and happiness for everyone around me. That’s when I felt my most happy and secure. When everything was going good for everyone else. It’s my nature as an empath.

We were all sitting around in the dining room one afternoon, watching my brother and his son put together some piece of DIY furniture. Talking, laughing. It was interesting enough. I was sitting on the floor and my 5-year-old niece sits down on my lap.

“Aunt Tina (my nickname was Tina), why are you so fat?”

No salutation. No beating around the bush. No pretense. No shame. Just straight to the fat. I thought for a minute.

“Well, why are you so skinny?”

She wasn’t. She was just a normal 5-year-old girl.

No hesitation. “Because God made me this way.”

Hm. Ok. “Well, God made me this way.”

Then my nephew contradicted me. “No! It’s because you eat too much.” My brother laughed. He didn’t chide his son. He didn’t correct him. He laughed.

This rebuke coming from a self-professed bacon thief. My brother’s wife had to cook a pound of bacon any time bacon was served at breakfast. This was even a topic of conversation during this trip. Of all the people in the room to say I ate too much? My brother and nephew ate more than anyone.

In retrospect, I had a normal appetite. Maybe I had seconds of certain dishes from time to time, but everyone had seconds. I was no different than anyone else at the table. I had always been overweight. Since the age of 5. Just about my niece’s age.

What no one knew, or cared to know, was that I was battling my own body. For years. I was on my way to cancer. Thyroid. And no one cared. I was a joke. I was humiliated for a cheap laugh. I was made to feel that my battle was my own lazy fault. I was gluttonous. Slothful.

I pushed my niece aside. Quietly got up and left. I took a lonely walk that afternoon. Down an isolated back country road. I had no car, no place to stay, no place to go. I just walked. I was so angry. So hurt. I fumed and cried. But I didn’t want to be near anyone from that room. Not one person stood up for me.

My mother eventually drove up, parked the car, and we talked. But.

That day hurt. My relationship with my brother’s family was never the same after that day. Never. We left early the next morning.

Oh well.

Today I weigh 220 lbs. I’ve lost over 293 lbs. after losing my thyroid to cancer, my gall bladder to weight loss surgery and dragging myself through hell and back.

My brother’s family has had to struggle with weight and medical issues as well. I wonder if they still think it’s just a matter of overeating?


Matthew 7:1-3 NASB

Judging Others

“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

Model Behavior

gangly legs dangle
hanging at strange angles
new-fangled angels
spangled and strangled
littered with bangles
privileged with physical advantage
yet starving for life without baggage
damaged and ravaged
mangled and managed
with makeshift bandages
wrangle your courage
disentangle this bondage
dissolve this marriage
to branded, handled beauty