Trigger Warning: Self-Harm
Hunger, I understand hunger. God,
as a youngster, I’d have broken if bent. And yet
it felt like strength. Sometimes I wonder
if I’ll ever feel so mighty again. But yes, now you ask,
it was lonely. To be filled with air, and only air.
All the bowls my body made. All the bowls
in the cupboards, empty. Call it selfish. Call it
what you want. Then I called it necessary.
My locked mouth over soft teeth. Kneebones
knots in a string. The freckles on my shoulder
spelled No. If you tightened your eyes. If you
believed in that kind of thing. Portents.
Signs. I believed in the pale legendary saints
who went for weeks without, still smiling.
Regarding miracles: if you are reading,
you too may know how to make a body shallow.
How to keep breathing, under. Tell yourself
you cannot drown in inches of water. That stings
cannot hide when you’re clear. It’s a textbook
trick. I know it now, bleeding four-weekly,
fleshier. Still I remember. How it felt like
magic. To say the words – eaten already /
ill / full. To dust my hands. To disappear.