The Trash Can and the Toilet Bowl


Living between the trash can and the toilet bowl,
Caught between a rock and a hard place
Too sick to get sick, but
Not well enough to get better and
Certainly not slim enough to be safe

Should I tear myself open, then
Sew myself up?
Let each rib be a seam, here’s proof I tore out stuffing, now
I can fit into my own skin with no space left over.

Every night counting each bone,
24 of them pushing out
Like they want to escape, and I understand that
My body is not a home, it’s a prison

My mother told me to pick my battles,
So I’m fighting with my skin,
The worst outcome I imagine
Is the one where I win,
And I don’t count my blessings,
I count ways to stay thin,
And ribs through this skin

Maybe soon, maybe soon
The beach won’t feel like hard work and hiding your stomach and hating your guts, your literal guts, and wishing you were small enough to fit into the box you fit into when you were twelve and you loved the way your parents called you tiny, you loved the way your friends said you’re so skinny, and you loved the way you felt wearing nothing but ribs up and down, xylophone bones

Now you wear shame and struggle and starving on your skin, size zero, size zero zero zero, and you hide the hunger pains safe behind your sweater and you tell your mom yes I ate lunch, it was good, but the only thing that ate today was
The trash can and the toilet bowl

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