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.
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.