We pricked our fat, pink fingers, bonded by blood. Still,

I search for signs of sisterhood, for

white-line ladies who white lie like I. Who grew tired of

waiting to shrink away again, who sink in

girlhood’s shallow end, who learned so early to pretend

they cannot tell where they begin and their illusions swallow them.



I called my body too many names for ugly and

now it doesn’t trust me.



We were not meant to be this thin, this small,

this hateful towards all that we are, to see

ourselves disjointed parts, hatchling hearts that beat

too fast to last.

We were not meant to brick ourselves away, make

homes of bathroom stalls and pray the hunger wouldn’t stay,

not meant to crave that empty ache, to fake

dirty dishes and skip lunches and perform punishment crunches,

pretend to love this cycle of restriction and denial, to

face the scale like a trial, to grow familiar with the taste of bile and

the feeling of knees upon cold tiles, the cavitied smiles, the rotting teeth,

the relief of loosening jeans.



My hair fell out and my legs turned blue,

veins shining through.

How to love a home that can no longer sustain you.


Charlotte Knowles-Cutler