The Porcelain Fishbowl

Some girls say that they’re not pretty, 

and staring into the saliva, mucous, and broken down bits of food swimming in the toilet bowl like fish in a porcelain fishbowl 

I certainly don’t feel pretty. 


With every crumb that passes my lips, I worry that I’ll gain weight, 

that I’ll balloon outwards like a ball, 

that I’ll be ugly, 

that I’ll be unloveable. 


The girls around me are beautiful and thin and the boys love them. 

They can eat without fear, wear shirts without gazing at their stomach and wondering if others would notice the rolls on their backs. 

But She says I can’t do that. 


She says that eating that third breakfast taco will go straight to my thighs, 

that breaking my fast is going to mess up my stomach,

that if I lose that last twenty pounds I’ll finally be beautiful.


So after breakfast, I make one parting joke to my grandmother, kiss my mother on the cheek, fist-bump my father, and walk up the stairs

All the way to the bathroom, where I close the door, blast my music, and stick my fingers down my throat.


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