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Anatomy of Religion

CW: Eating Disorder

we don’t talk about it anymore, not since we dissected

the body of it. i wish we’d done it sooner, hate that i didn’t know

what you needed, who you needed, why you needed

do you remember the summer you returned? you left slim, perhaps a little

delicate. you came back a spindle of spider-silk. angular as a church

your fragile bones dug trenches

gutted, pitted, pulped, we laid our earth aside – thinking:

let her make this hollow space, let her dig until she is tired and then

won’t she eat?

we did not know the bible-fever in your veins. the god you were

seeking, the god speaking in your throat. we did not understand the depth

of it, the hunger of it, the you-would-have-chewed-your-body-empty-if-


bite of it

your mother bathed you in the muggy belly of July

and she wept as she brushed a sponge across your spine

you only tell me this years later, drunk and tired. you tell me how she cried

because daughters should be eternal. daughters should not be skeletons.

daughters should not die.

when you tell me, i feel we are standing on the edge of surgery, an audience

to the main event. we see blood, sinews, cavity. you take my hand then and

you show me:

This is where my god was. This is why I killed him.


Anatomy of Religion features in Erato's Issue III: Hunger - available in print and online.


About the Author:

Rebecca Hooper is a scientist and poet based in southwest England. Her most recent published poem was nominated for The Pushcart Prize, and her latest short story was a competition winner with Exeter City of Literature.

Twitter: @RHwriting

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