Two Years with the Hollowed Bones of a Bird (Ode to Anorexia)

Had a foreboding stranger preemptively prophesied to my girl-self –

Of the past two years I endured, with the hollowed bones of a bird

Readily acquiescent to the beguiling caress of death

Obsequious to every seductive command

So sweetly murmured from the lips of my idée fixe, albeit disordered,

Properly suffocating with its tantalizing promise:

“Your purity can be regained, but only on an empty stomach,” –

Should the paradoxical subjugation of myself to ruination be evaded?


Shall my mother have been spared the metallic, sterilized scent

Intrinsic to hospital bedding, linen sheets like the white of milk like the

White of my cadaverous hand pliant beneath the intravenous drip

As inanimate, as inhuman as my atrophied body that afternoon?


Should my aunt have been reprieved from the fateful, oppressive duty

Of hemming my slacks reserved for the annual high school dance –

Tactful dexterity of her fingers threading and trimming and whittling

An adult size two into an echo of a garment, more true to a children’s ten –

an apt task for a medical caregiver so experienced with meticulous movement,

a mournful task for a medical caregiver so familiar with death?


Would the woe that was the shrouded haze beclouding a childhood

Irrecoverable – an age defined by oblivion to the prospective defilement,

The abuse I bore the capacity to inflict upon this unsuspecting body –

Have been obstructed in its manifestation, substituted by a divine appreciation

For the vessel that sustains the matter that actualizes my existence?


Every ‘shall’, every ‘would’, every ‘should’ that seeks to grant autonomy

To a two-year period so willfully dominated by an illness culminated

Finds solace amidst a sea of remorse, of accusatory queries

Of which ebb and flow, the ambience of unrelenting waves

Sufficient in their masking of the objicient, the quiet epiphany:


Here exists a post-adolescent sobriety – an imperative metamorphosis

Detailed by the progress of my perpetually burgeoning recovery –

that necessitates suffering so long as you overcome it.

This poem is about: 


Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741