Check up

This is the first poem I’ve written about my past experience with eating disorders and body dysmorphic habits. After a years of questioning, mediation, routine changes and a lot of self-love, I feel incredibly blessed to say such tendencies and what were once predominant thoughts are not a current reality for me. I understand this is not the case for everybody and if what I say resonates with you, please know (you probably already do) that there’s services and communities around to support and care for you. For the sake of being a cliche (though for a good reason) don’t suffer alone…it’s overrated.

how little I live
outside my disordered name
soul drifting far above
an empty stomached frame
brain exhausted on insecurity
taunting me, with
each mirror check –

day 903:
feet ok, calves passable,
thighs ok – turn – butt, besides creeping cellulite, ok
stomach fucked, fleshy arms can’t bear
to look. Boyish breasts need plumping
hormones bought on Norway’s eBay – clumping
together my misplaced desire
of someone else’s approval, their eyes grazing me
impatient, waiting for feminine blatancy.

back – passable, a tad too long
neck under red skin, inflamed, wrong
face – disgrace. Purple bruises under
the eyes parading the mark of illness
colonising the entirety, beginning with the
flushed cheeks, their racing yearn to stale in vibrancy
to a plum, eventually matured and crinkly.

let the porcelain paste proliferate
in feud with my skin, irritating
meeting the eyes with automated liquid strokes
the rest, repetitive pokes from powder brush thorns
it’s time to eat and here I dread the sickly impulse
yet Man Ray-style montages of avid flavour
had occupied my time today, like most.
Is this day one wherein I starve
or be manically engrossed in anything dry or paste-like?
texture required to keep my thoughts from gulps
breaching waistline. I choose to not eat today.
I’ll let the worried glances round the table simmer
I prefer it this way. Staying true to what I deserve –


but the hopeful image of a body
bones as sharp and clear cut as the hourglass curves
when the wholeness of living empty can finally sit beneath my skin.


distortion-self-portrait-jaeda-dewalt (1)

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