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11 years old This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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staring at the yellow girl
crunching cheerios
lock-jawed cow chewing cud
Her spine
pushes through
tissue paper skin

tube through the nose
wading through mucus
dried blood
and vanilla protein shakes

11 at night
feet hit the floor
mind crazed with exercise
and chocolate cake

Joel the pole on wheels
with plastic lungs
clothes collapse--
a tiny bum
sinking
into the sofa’s flesh


11 years old
keeps time
with steps down
endless hallways
cold showers
and cracked souls

the empty basketball court
all weeds and gray air
walking on stilts
around its hollow corners

the older girls
suck tobacco sticks
and welcome death
because it’s here
because it’s everywhere.

What the hell
is an eating disorder anyway?

It’s 11 years old
stuck in a suffocating space
where monsters won’t scream
loud enough
to ignite fear
and burn hunger
inside a thousand walking skeletons
sitting alone
staring at walls
and measuring
the circumference
of bones.



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