In the Army
you must not be fat
unless you have a fat neck, too,
in which case your whole fat body
will be weighed and measured
But if you have a scrawny neck
and, say, your leg was crushed by a wayward humvee
and suddenly you’re fat
because it’s been eight months
since you learned that you will never run again
or have a pleasant walk
Well, you should have planned your diet
to not get fat.
Ryan Edel is currently a Ph.D. student in English Studies at Illinois State University, and he received his MFA in creative writing from Johns Hopkins in 2010. He has previously served five years in the U.S. Army, including three years with the 82nd Airborne and a ten-month deployment to Afghanistan. He is also the founder of 12Writing, an online source for creative writing resources.