I would never speak to a child
the way I speak to myself.
There is nothing empowering about lessening yourself.
You are a vanishing act. Your body, the magic hat,
pulling out nothing. Your body is a clothing wrack,
your body is my favorite sweater shrunk in the drying.
Less is more less is more less I know
more less I know more or less how to love myself.
Hair loss is a side effect of bulimia.
If you are so hell-bent on losing your hair,
here are the scissors. Here is the razor.
Why don’t you shave it? Why don’t you
donate it? Why don’t you braid me a fucking scarf?
You beautiful martyr. You knuckle-kissing saint.
You are a mother bird and we are all your children
and we are all so hungry. We want to see a staircase
around your lungs. We want to hang ornaments
from your collarbone. We want nothing
to do with your softness.
They don’t show big girls in the magazines
like they are afraid to show men what childbirth looks like.
It is too real, it is too bloody.
Dear First World,
what a privilege it is to hate our bodies.
Ana, when your loved ones
carry your coffin, will they doubt
there is a body in there?
Like an empty suitcase.
A silent instrument.
I too have pulled at my torso.
I too have imagined hemming my body.
I suck it in. I suck it in. I turn off the light
before I let him love me.
Ana, imagine yourself as a little girl.
Tell her she is not good enough. Tell her
she is ugly. When she comes to you hungry,
do not feed her.
Your body is not a temple.
Your body is the house you grew up in.
How dare you try to burn it to the ground.
You are bigger than this.
You are bigger
you are swallowing yourself.
Your voice is so small.