How I Got Skinny


United States
41° 17' 43.7064" N, 95° 59' 37.8024" W

How I Got Skinny

the beginning of a poem, and the end of an eating disorder

130.7 pounds.
August brings uncertain futures pressing down like snow upon the tree branch of my skull, my mind splinters with each thought, my body bends in obvious ways, I am withering in the middle of summer.
If a girl falls in the forest and no one is around to hear her, does she make a sound?

128.2 pounds.
I don't look at myself anymore.
The sight of my stomach drives me almost to panic, nausea sets in when I catch a glimpse of the bumps bursting from my arms,
I didn't think it was possible to find fat on my elbows.
I didn't think it was possible to want to tear myself out of my own skin.
I didn't think it was possible. I didn't think. I didn't. I am tired of teardrop-covered flesh. I am tired of teardrops.
I am so tired.

124.5 pounds.
In September,
I glance at my torso to see the clear outline of two jagged hipbones for the first time.
They remind me of dolphins, diving downward into the cavern of my pelvis.
Lying down, my belly is a flatland and my hips mountains,
breaking the silence of my stomach with their height.
This new landscape rises and falls in the shape of dissatisfaction
and echoes with thoughts of "not enough,"
I am the Grand Canyon of apologies.

125.1 pounds.
Poet, You've written about this, too.
Struggling with yourself is an everyday experience,
you've told girls like me to knit scarves from their scalp and
knock it off
because anorexia won't make you more attractive,
bulimia doesn't make you more beautiful,
I am sorry I didn't believe you the first time I heard you speak.
Your words are an intravenous drip, pumping forgiveness through my shrunken forearms to make me healthy again.
I will not come back to this hospital room. I will be my own doctor. I will write myself a cure.

126.3 pounds.
It is the week before Halloween and I am not afraid of food.
I watch a friend eat a bag of KitKats and I do not scream.
My body is no longer a horror movie.
I pack up the skeleton costume,
place it on the back shelf of my closet,
I will not give myself a reason to put it on again.

127.8 pounds
This is only the beginning.
I will feel distinctly nostalgic one day for the bones I have buried,
the time will come when I decide to play paleontology with the bathroom mirror.
I will excavate the memories,
dig up what is left of the crying, the hatred, the breaking of skin,
I will let them fossilize.
place them under bulletproof glass,
an exhibit I may look at,
but cannot touch.


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