Snapshots People Took of My Eating Disorder

Alexis Bates

 

Shutter click!

 

Every day                   children           pulled out

snack               I watch

                       carelessly

                                             My

            raced heart

savored every moment

 

Shutter click!

 

The people                  around me ignored my

       chocolate milk                             I would sip it

      then toss the     carton away

 

Shutter click!

 

            she laughed                             reminded

the class          nobody should be bringing food into the classroom

                       showcasing to everyone that I was                            I was a

cautionary tale

 

Shutter click!

 

            The first boy                          told his friends I was

too skinny. Determined                                I filled

            My stomach                                     confessing

me

Shutter click!

 

                       I like to admit

                                  strangers stopped me

I felt                           entitled

                                             to being perfect

 

Shutter click!

 

I continued to eat

Everybody else           snickered,

You sure do eat

                       My overconsumption of food would have been

Endearing. If I had been younger,

judgmental whispers

                                  told me I was getting fat.

                       collarbones

            harsh until

                       weight

 

Shutter click!

 

            People                        felt proud of me

shrinking

                       she began

            I let myself grow as

                                             nobody                       but my mother

                                                        to impress

 

Shutter click!

 

I           mastered                                           feminine. I

tell                   men

I binged on                 

                                                        spine

                                  disappearing collarbones

 

Shutter click!

 

I wondered what

            was proud.

As summer gave way                                    my mother took me to

Her bathroom                                                          Eager to

Please,

I                      lost                              

myself

            to get

                       the attention of strangers

 

 


Alexis Bates is an emerging poet and writer that forces people to reflect on how they relate to topics such as self-perception and mental illness. You can read her work in Doll Hospital, The Passed Note, Rising Phoenix Review and elsewhere. She has chapbooks forthcoming from Varsity Goth Press, Luminosity Press (an imprint of Firefly Magazine), and Ghost City Press.