Who is she?

Her flawlessly sun-kissed complexion

Smooth to touch and wistful envy among her

Wide, deep-set eyes

Exuberantly radiating youth

Obviously one can already see untapped potential

Twinkle constantly within that soft-spoken soul

Rare cloudbursts of a few words

Take leave those astonished around the one with her quiet ways

What does she have to say?

They wonder what thoughts run through that strange mind

And what emotions are conjured that impel her to speak out

Or contain them in her silence.

Always seemingly perfect in each aspect her life entails

That ambitious pursuit never has an end

Stalks her like a shadow after every moment of achievement

Watching her behind every hidden corner

With its predatory ways

Appearing in her reflections

Overwhelming that wretch

All the flaws and failures

When she returns a gaze

To her,

No one knows that what perfection is or was gained through by

Blood-shot eyes from broken vessels


What…where…. when

Was that consumed?

Excuses to leave the table

To disappear into her compulsive fears

Religiously devoting hours at a nearby gym

Paleness and forgetfulness

Dizziness and weakness

the blackouts in the public restroom stall

and embarrassment when she finally returns to class

the scent of acid laced in her perfume and sugar-free mints

scratched up voice

the epitome of shame and disgust

one reason added to explain

the hard-clutched resilience

Excessive bouts of intense exertion

Thousands of yards in the cold water

Miles covered on ground

Rain or shine

Controlled yet uncontrolled

All the words of assurance and concern others will say

Pale in comparison

To what she can only believe is inadequacy

Or the short-lived euphoria

As numbers dropped lower

On a simple scale

Or size zeros slipped off her waist

The need to be covered in layers

In humid summery weather

Yet miserably cold

And the ceaseless discontentment

as well as endless criticism

Despite all her pretentious success.



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