the first time

i am 11 years old

it is a year of firsts;

first sleepover, first boyfriend


the first time my teacher pulls me out of class, all smiles and clicky heels and flowery perfume,

the first time she tells me

your weight is in the 86th percentile overweight 

the word glows in my head on a neon screen


i am 11 years old 

the first time my hands reach deep to dig for treasure both in the sandbox and down my throat

i learn multiplication and long division and how not to keep it down


the first time I learn what the word cutting means, and automatically assume it is because you want to squeeze out your fat

the first time I sharpen my pencils then sharpen my skin, begging, pleading,

that the endless fat will go away 


i am 12 years old

the first time a woman on a glowing screen talks about something called anorexia, and i am fascinated 

i see the slimness of her and wonder if an eating disorder is what it takes


the first time i proudly tell my therapist i lost my first 25 pounds

the way she tells me it is not enough for a diagnosis

really means i need to lose more 


my sickness consumes me


i am 13 years old 

the first time laxatives fill my stomach when i do not deserve food

an endless sea of numbers is all i see

along with the way my ribs poke out underneath by shirt and my thighs don’t touch


beauty is all i see


i am 13 years old

the first time sirens blare above me as my heart beat is slippery in my chest

the first time a tube makes it’s way down my throat


i am 13 years old 

the first time i can say

i am healing

i am getting better

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