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By , Chatham, VA
it's the labels
smacked on our foreheads
"ugly", "fat", "failure"
slipped on containers
of yogurt and butter
announcing the calories
fueling the fire
covering the news
plaguing the Internet
starting the decent
into a horrible demise

it's the others
passing in the hallways
looking you over
"what's her BMI"
the Perfect Body
so unattainable
you want to Look like Her
confusing it with Being Her
internal self-worth
measured from the outside
starting to starve

it's the last slice of cake
sitting on your plate
<strike>delectable</strike>, detestable
you don't need that
remember the labels
remember the others
The Perfect Body
would never eat that
"I'm not hungry"
and now you're triumphant
no more calories, no more fat

it's the mirror
staring at you
shimmering, flaunting
saying "come and see"
but you can't look
the image is too disgusting
still too fat
less than before, but
how can you tell?
the mirror's not enough
so now

it's the scale
the evil red numbers
blinking like monster eyes
the red hot numbers
scorching your eyelids
dancing across your vision
even at night,
when the scale is tucked away
the numbers remain
prodding you on to
Keep Going

it's the mother
her sorrow filled gaze
as she tries to understand
"aren't you hungry?"
so you swallow one bite
then two
then three
forcing the calorie-filled poison
into your veins
feeling like a fat, guilty
failure

it's the thighs
the blubbery monstrosities
the gap between them
slowly widening
the greater the space,
the greater self-worth
constant reminders
jiggling as you walk
light shines through
just dont' let them touch
don't let them touch

it's the cold fingers
encircling your wrist to
measure the width
tracing along your ribs--
the cage to protect
the heart that is gone
feeling the ridges with glee
as they become prominent
the fingers that are constantly
tapping, tapping, drumming
and choking your throat

it's the cell phone screen
with its white, blank stare
"no new messages"
there's never any anymore
nobody cares
nobody knows
nobody tries to free you
or even reach you
why would they?
you can't even reach
yourself

it's the voices
muttering harsh words
growing louder by the day
the taunting labels
the perfect others
the cake, the mirror, the scale
shouting, yelling
the mother
crying
the fat thighs, bony fingers
screams shrill in your ears
the blank screen
The Perfect Body
the red eyes
the empty cage
the voices
the voices
swirling in your head
thrashing, bashing
pounding, screaming
your head is reeling
louder, faster, louder
"ugly", "fat", "failure"
"fat"
"fat"
it doesn't stop
it won't stop
until...

it's the realization
that the only voice you're hearing
is your own





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