December 1, 2010
By , Tolland, CT
She is bent
Beautiful slender ribs
totally visible
screaming silently

I can hold myself on my toes. It must follow, then, that I can hold myself up, even when I’m this dizzy. I can’t fall—I’ve been trained not to fall. I have impeccable balance. I can hold myself up. I do not need your help.

So, so skinny
A hunger for something
so long forgotten
The pain recedes
becomes an ache
eats away her muscles
and just as pale white

In summer

Fragile porcelain
don’t cry, little doll
you’ve been dropped and
you’ve been cracked
dragged through the dirt
Recognize the rusty,
bloody taste
of defeat.

I can hold this pose for minutes at a time. Some days, my stage smile is permanent. I hold my shoulders strong and my chin high, but that does not mean I am confident. Any self esteem you think you see is a façade.

Lank, dull locks
Trembling fingers
unable to grasp
She is falling
to pieces, falling
to the floor, falling
far, falling fast,

and she hits the ground

I am easily bruised. My skin is tattooed with them, but I can hide them. The stage makeup works wonders. I only hope they won’t see my tears sparkling in the spotlights. If I pirouette just right, they will think those tears are just sparkles on my cheeks. Just keep moving, and no one will know. Keep dancing, and my secret will stay safe.

black and blue
a stunning red costume
too-loose fabric
hanging on her bones
a nothing girl
feather light
Sobs shake her slight frame

A breeze could blow her away
Some say
it already has.


I will never torture myself again. I remember forty pounds ago. I remember the insecurity, the pain, the jealousy. They were all so skinny and I was trapped at one hundred and twenty. At eighty, I am still not satisfied.

She was beautiful
Now, a shadow
of she was
A sad reflection
wasting away
before the mirror
to spend an eternity

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This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

ErisRose said...
Dec. 29, 2010 at 12:24 pm
I have seen this a lot at my dance studio and remember that you are beautiful and talented no matter what the number on the scale.
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