Posted: 18 January 2006
Word Count: 155
Summary: I saw a programme last week on anorexia, and this prompted the below.
At morning break, arms bared,
four girls compare the nights before.
All are changing. All changed.
Inhabiting a space their bodies can’t provide.
They compose weight-stories. Lie if,
by some quirk of chemistry, their
genes get it wrong. Plan ways to cheat
their system, hurry things on.
They have all the best advice, know
just what they need to keep alive
barely, understand the calorie
and what it does. Its capabilities.
Each brings their own ideal: a picture,
perhaps, torn from a magazine,
or words from a forum: a lifestyle,
not a disease. It is their choice.
They examine the future:
bodies full of something
The horror of becoming desirable.
Worlds rest on the look of an arm,
its circumference. The shape of
the space between finger and thumb.
They use one girl’s hand for equivalence.
The bell goes. They dissolve
back into classrooms. Dream
of love in feather-thin days.
Record their disappearance.
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