Renee Veldman


It is a dangerous thing to be a poisoned 
young woman enamored with the water
and insatiated by competition. With 
fluttering feet and paddling arms,
I felt my body gliding through the 
saccharine chlorine rushing over 
my curves. I felt the breadth of my 
splash as I lunged off the block 
and dove into the pool, powered 
by strong thighs that also served 
as an obstruction. In the name of 
hydrodynamics, I cut my hair, 
shaved my arms and back,
and fantasized a scalpel to 
the stomach. I envied my 
younger self and 
dolphins for their 
absence of breasts
and punished myself 
for their presence. 
While in the shower, 
I imagined ripping off 
a cutlet off my own fat,
frying it up, and serving 
it to the other girls I 
competed against. 
I imagined their 
bodies dragging 
with the burden 
that at present 

Read previous
Read next

Renee Veldman hails from Michigan but after recently graduating from Eckerd College has found herself living, working, writing, and playing in Alaska. She is an educator and has embraced the true Alaskan lifestyle by residing in a dry cabin with an outhouse and no running water. She spends her free time open water swimming, running, and sitting on her cabin floor with either an open notebook or paint supplies.