Weight is defined as the force exerted by gravity on an object.
Weight is measured using a scale.
Mass is defined as the quantity of matter in an object.
Mass is measured using a balance.
If we are all masses and all
mass is made up matter
and all matter is just
air and water and the sheets
of our beds and the paper
I’m writing on then how
do we know what we weigh.
If we’re all just masses then
What is a number in grams
Or kilos or pounds or ounces
But a body with its own stories
its pieces and particles and potential
This mass of flesh and freckles and
crooked toes and scarred skin is
the matter that holds the weight
of my world inside it.
This body is the matter of my heart
and my mother’s heart and the heart
of the girl sitting next to me in English class
who pulls her sleeves over wrists.
If we are all masses and all mass
is made up of matter and matter
floats above us and swims below us
then this body is not 112 or 92 or 81
but this body is my voice and
the books I’ve read and the
hands I’ve held and the bodies
that I’ve pressed against it.
I want this mass to be heavy.
I want this body to be weighed down,
full with every part of me that ever
flew out into the universe.
That’s what I weigh.