cotard's delusion for hypochondriacs

it happens every other time you see yourself in the mirror

you feel like a ghost trapped in a cadaver

sometimes tied down limb by limb

sometimes attached by a single fragile strand of whisper-thin string

borne down by your repeated insistence that you need this body

need it as much as you hate it


sometimes you wish you could just pull gobs of yourself away from your bones

you imagine

that if there was no excess you could finally feel clean

that if you looked as skeletal as you felt that maybe things would be easier

but then you’d rather gain a hundred pounds, a thousand, if

if you could only have

could only be--



there’s no point dwelling on the impossible.


there are things we cannot change

lines we can’t cross, rules we can’t break

and “be yourself” only goes so far, don’t you know

that isn’t meant for people like you

and you are reminded as you stare at your reflection

wondering what you did wrong

to make the waiter call you “ma’am” today.

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