bite by bite


I see my reflection


Never good enough

A blanket woven from all the ugly things people have said the secrets whispered

behind my back smothers me

I’m trapped in the mirror and I can’t get out


This is a disease of silence,

Silent screams for something

Help, escape, attention,



The things I need

The things I never ask for

Because in my eyes

I’m worthless


For whatever reason

I don’t deserve Them

Don’t deserve It

Don’t deserve You

So I play a guessing game

The game of guess what I need from you

But you’ll never know what it is

And I’m left feeling even more worthless


They told me my eyes are broken

My reflection is a lie

Perhaps I can steal your eyes for a while and see whatever it is you see

Because I don’t understand how my mother could possibly say

“You look sick”

When I am this whale of a girl


She and I sit at the dinner table

There’s hope in here eyes because my plate is nearly empty

Then she realizes

I slipped my pasta in my bra, smeared salad dressing on the seat, stuffed

chicken up my sagging sweater sleeves



You need more

I’m not hungry

It doesn’t matter

Mom I’m fine

You need to eat


I can’t watch you d-i-e

And she spells it, because my sister is there

So I try


I try to bring the fork to my mouth but my hands shake like a creaky old chair

It’s heavier than a cement truck

Heavier than 100 elephants


Than my mother’s heart


I just can’t do it.

I hide in a cocoon of electric blankets and down comforters

My thoughts form into a foggy cloud that hangs low over my head

Then there is rain

Rain in my eyes, rain in my veins, rain slipping down my face





It’s easier to climb through a hole into self-hate and stay there

To starve until my bones poke through my SeranWrap skin, become a shell girl

To smoke poison, let toxic waste run through me

To shred my skinbag, open my arteries, let red rivers flow

It’s easier than it is


To feel


They said they wanted me to get better so I tried

For a while

But it seemed like they only love me when I was stuck in the mirror

And I was in that middle ground

All I knew was that I wasn’t doing my best at either, living or dying


I was sent away to hospitals in the city and houses in the mountains

Fluorescent lights and cameras

Where girls had furry legs

And fuzzy armpits

Because razors are sharp… and sharp is not allowed

Where we counted in the bathroom and they checked our toilets before we


They took notes on our sleep, mood and bowel movements

How we acted at meals and around each other

Where our skin was checked for new marks every day

Each morning we peed in a cup, stepped on the scale, took the colorful seeds to

fix our crazy

Where they pumped is full of food

And tried to teach us how to rewire our brains

See it all as good


The first time

I had midnight exercise parties, purged in pillowcases

I tore new holes in my safety pin skin

I was their marionette doll

But I was scared


The second time

Was when they realized my wires were more tangled than they thought

They put me on pills to keep my happys and my sads the way they ought to be

The third time

I began to believe what they said

Maybe I am more than a skeleton girl running on the powder in my nose and the

smoke in my lungs

More than 00 jeans and 200 calories a day.

More than the razor across my skin and the scale under my feet

More than the badness inside my head

Maybe I am more than the mirror that traps me


There is no magic cure

Just one foot ahead of the other

One day, one meal, one bite at a time

The laugh of my sister

A smile from a stranger

The words “I love you”

Slowly, there are more good days

Good weeks

Good months

Good years

And you have a good life

I spent too many nights shivering in bed when I could have been

With a girl who has soft lips and warm hands or

A friend with a gentle heart and cheerful eyes


So I am starting now

I am here today


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