new year diet

CW: eating disorder, negative body image, s*icidal thoughts

my mother puts her finger under my chin
and tuts at seeing double
my father removes everything sweet from the house
so slow you can hardly taste the sour
and I wonder
why they want me to disappear
become the weight of an apparition, a ghost
with rattled chains and footsteps like air
leaving unremarkable handprints on
the refrigerator door
I am already haunting my own body

my thighs spread like conquering armies
like unbridled pools
like bread you need to let rest to let it rise
don’t they see
I am making myself as small as I can be
I am learning at my mother’s knee
to always change in bathrooms
to wear clothes that paint illusions
on the expanse of my skin
to measure my worth in the gaps I leave
rather than the room I take

I am learning to throw up all the bad inside of me
learning to relish in the acidic taste
at the back of my teeth
that tells me I am losing space
learning to run my hands rhythmically
over hipbones and collarbones
to trace the skeleton beneath the skin and
whittle it smaller
chip away at this cartilage
leave no thing but these
calcium-deficient bones behind
when I eventually
to nothing

Image courtesy of Danil Aksenov.

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