i am lemon yellow
& leaking from the wrists.
in battle by myself,
i am trying to fight
the part of me
that thinks i can survive on tea & smoothies
because everything else
makes me sick.
‘trying to get better’ is my full time job & i
work all the overtime
for the paycheque i have yet to get.
on doctor’s orders i
cut out cane sugar, cut out gluten, cut out dairy, cut out starches, cut out beans,
cut out all the things that give me medical mood swings
& make me feel like shit.
permission to restrict? no problem
almost afraid to admit
justify my insane meal plans this time because
is such a convenient excuse.
saying the only things anorexic about me are my
& my BMI.
always questioned but escaping diagnosis
because i don’t try to lose weight &
i don’t think i’m fat
i just don’t think
i deserve to eat
but they never ask me that.
my doctor prescribes me 30 pounds;
she recommends 3,200 calories a day
my mouth coats with cotton
there is no fucking way —
she’d settle for 2,500
but while we’re wishing unlikelies
can she prescribe me wings? so i
can soar away from the world where even
1000 calories sounds like a challenge.
i’m just naturally underweight, my mind says
i was born with the ability to survive
on sunshine & well wishes & words.
scapegoat celiac perfect excuse for why
fasting feels fine;
& why it’s normal to me
to not be hungry, to stop long before i’m full, to restrict when i’m stressed;
& to always be stressed.
it’s not until i see pictures
when i’m unrecognizable —
knobby knees, arms like sticks & small clothes that don’t fit.
they say the camera adds ten pounds
but to me it takes away twenty;
always a shock to see on film
what i can’t in the mirror.
denial so tight i confuse it for skin.
i am stiff joints & shaky arms & stumbling,
i am feeling like a fraud but still
i am running until i see spots.
i am used to feeling
my heart fluttering when i’m sitting
tripping over it’s own beats &
trying to escape.
now i am justified
celiac disease provided permission
to scribble another fifty things on my can’t-eat-this list…
disgustingly proud, glorified for restricting suddenly being so healthy
after a positive TTG blood test.
cruel irony in that
i am autoimmune; most food makes
my body attack itself from the inside —
medically diagnosed self-destruction & i wonder how the hell
could my mind ever be fine.