I used to see the world through
A lens the colour of a fading sky made my perception
But one day my glasses fell and
smashed around me like mother’s china.
The world was stripped of fairytale wonder.
I was made into what stands before you now –
A consumer who cannot separate herself from a commodity
who scans magazines to justify her existence.
Glossy images celebrate the hollowed stomach
The outward jut of the hipbones
The hallowed ribcage that sings when
Your fingers run over them
Like the keys of a xylophone.
Harmonising, glamourising pain.
Because starvation sells.
I no longer see myself for what I am
But for what I am told I must be.
I must be perfect.
So every day I stand on the scales of justice.
I am captive to a mirror
Whose regurgitated image is bloated.
I am coated
In my shame
My own name leaves a bitter taste on my tongue
And still you thread my veins
through a needle’s eye
And stitch your doctrine onto my brain
Until I am nothing more than a
A mass-produced, self-induced
Effigy of pain.
And it’s terrifying that I
crave paper-thin skin more
Than the sweetness of food.
Is this what I have become?
Is my worth measured by
The space between my thighs
By the high
I feel when I puke?
Others are disgusted
When they discover I harm myself
Create tracks across my arms myself
As if pain should be a poison
injected only by society’s syringe.
They suck confidence from others like
A baby suckles at its mother’s breast.
And I wonder how something so precious
Can become something so vacuous?
Surely I am allowed to be beautiful?
I am beautiful because I am imperfect.
Because an oilspill
In the clearest water
Still creates a gasoline rainbow.
We take and we take
Until all that is left is a bankrupt soul.
An overdrawn account of misery.
I know the price of being flawless.