Howard Firkin
Les says that he was fat, and I believe
what Les says. Les says childish taunts were hard
and left protective layers of blubber scarred:
someone like you, Les says, cannot conceive
the pain. Les feels it walking on the beach.
Les feels the insult spray, the mocking glance
of brown-skinned, slim-hipped, muscled, oiled, and buff—
the solar sting of their contempt enough
to hurt more than his soft sole/hot sand dance—
oh, to be cool! It\'s always out of reach.

Les missed the laughter, comradeship, the love…
but better for it: Les is become a name;
his words revenge him now; he\'s far above
beach scum (which leaves him pretty much the same…)