CW: eating disorder
Girl Not Otherwise Specified
I draft a poem titled “How Many Calories
in a Bouillon Cube?” & Other Ridiculous Questions
I’ve Googled in the Name of Anorexia.
not that I actually have a real eating disorder, though.
I haven’t cried because of my weight.
well, I haven’t cried because of my weight today.
this is just what it means to be a girl: to be an
angel, fashioning your halo into a glow-stick bracelet
or something to choke yourself to death with.
I know shame more intimately than I know my body.
know just how to fit four fingers in my throat &
pull my lunch back out till I’m lovely, but I’ve never
had even one inside my pussy. as a girl, I’m
more comfortable twitching from pain than pleasure.
I read a story about a girl whose colon stuck
in a golf ball sized hole in her diaphragm after purging.
the next time I form a fish hook with my hand,
I pray the Law of Attraction won’t make her fate mine.
I eat myself as a monster would. I become
the thing that is eaten. the thing that is killed and eaten:
another animal. a girl is a wound that refuses
to heal, the thing you pick at obsessively to keep bleeding.
you can make a shrine out of anything but a body,
knees rubbed raw from devotion, cleansing out bread & wine.
girls are only pretty dying or already dead.
I did not catch this like a cold—it was taught and tube-fed.
the last time I was at an acceptable weight, my
mother had just given birth to me. it is Halloween.
the only thing that scares me is the candy bars.
for the rest of my life, I want to be a skeleton.
you leave me as you found me:
disposable like a phone
or a body.
everything hurts in a way it shouldn’t.
Summer is a violence. August is wet.
The sun leaves like a father.
I wanna be my own dream girl,
so I escape into the night
terror, haunted by the cruel men.
I am in the basement. I never left.
born from grief and sin,
I’m too sad to be scared.
I am only useful
when I’m being used.
helga is the author of MELODRAMA (ghost city press 2018). they want everyone to have a good day every day & have work in occulum, peach mag, vagabond city, & elsewhere. they tweet @helgafloros.