this is not a monster you fight with swords, this is a monster that lies slumbering in the pocket of your belly waiting for the day when girls get mean and you begin to hate yourself

//trigger warnings for: graphic description of eating disorders (specifically with girls) and implied/referenced self-harm

we are lovely in our suffering

twisting red roses in our teeth
because it's pretty so long as you're not the one
tasting bitter copper heavy on your tongue

and slender calves, flat stomachs 
we crave the ability to disappear
shrinking women
turn sideways and you'll be gone from sight

if you're not the one staring with bile rising 
up the back of your throat like a saltwater flood
then of course it's attractive

just like your shaking hands clinking softly, gently, 
against the porcelain of the toilet 
just like your plate, the same tremors and napkin tents to hide
all of the things you will to stay outside your body 
empty yourself in an effort to empty out all the things you hate

starve yourself for a mirror image that flickers from weak eyelids
the world blurs
and you're folding in on yourself
but there's nothing substantial to grab

so you dig deeper
until blood coats your fingers
gets under your nails 

good thing nobody can see it underneath the chipped polish
immaculate in its cracks

immaculate in its cracks
maybe you'd weigh less if you just got rid of the essentials 
like eating and sleeping and loving yourself
maybe carve off a pound with a knife or seven

after all media loves the insubstantial female 
but when you reach out to touch there is only 
the ghost of a person, rotted teeth from stomach acid
and stale glitter and the smell of vomit 

but pretty vomit, pretty vomit, the magazines rush to assure,
just swallow more pills and pop more diet meds
it's working, it's working

just suck on a mascara brush instead of a lollipop
so at least you'll be pretty when they cut you open to suck out your substance
slice your skin away on a cold metal table in the morgue
everyone wants to know what happened to the celebrity
young dead pop star's the new bestseller

layers over layers over layers
a futile, fruitless attempt to keep yourself warm
after all what's the use in trying to keep the cold out
when it's already freezing you from the inside out

they ask you how you're doing
how you're doing, dear, how's it going
and you repeat fine, fine, fine
faceless people with faceless questions
in an assembly line of generic personal inquiries
they believe what they want to hear

and pretty girl
nobody wants to hear your grievances

so you wave a picture-perfect hand, 
photoshop curves into your pictures  
a chest that doesn't look like a caved-in road 
swallowing cars from above to feed its denied hunger

and you wonder 
when did this happen
because they say 
keep quiet, nobody can hurt you if you hurt yourself first

puking american dreams
in splattered rainbow colors against the dirty plastic toilet seats
of school bathrooms

blond boys with stupid smiles and beautiful eyes and kind dispositions
aren't worth your time
save yourself the pain and just don't feel 
after all, it's easier that way

easier the way the locker room wasn't
when the girls chittered meanly 
and said "I weigh 93 pounds"
their arms matchsticks 
and their mouths blue flames

they shriek at you 
with shrill, resounding voices
say oh my god i just caught her staring at me, gross 
and tsking faces as they eye your baby fat
like vultures circling for a new victim

so you stare at mirrors
snarl at your reflection in anger
pull up your lips to expose dull teeth
turning yellow from bile 

and some days you spit tulips, 
pastel-petaled things 
soft and crushable and discarded carelessly 

you don't spin roses with rotting teeth anymore

you are ugly in your agony 
and that is all you see in the morning 
because the mirror yells starved
but your mind screams fat 

do not romanticize this, 
girls burning in loose shirts and empty plates
knives scraping against bare china 
clean of any trace 
because it's not hard to clean when it wasn't dirty to begin with

pretty, pretty, pretty
whispers from wispy daydreams
she'll never be pretty they rasp 
just be pretty the magazines say

pull the roots from your throat
and learn to feed yourself instead of your demons
once again

empty girls deserve more than a hollow heart. 

The End

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