Akira Devine Mattingly



It is not a form of self-harm.
It is a practice in self creation.
See the body as a catalyst,
as only a means to an end,
in the pursuit of perfection.

Small bites. Thoroughly chew.
Memorize perfect portioning.
Track meals. Limit calories.
Shrink your stomach.
Drink coffee. Smoke a cigarette.
Steal your mother’s laxatives.

Dread the fullness,
the way food settles heavy
inside like sunken bones
in the river Styx.
Skip meals until it is natural.
Train your body
to desire only what you give.
Forget the gnaw of hunger
as it eats away at flesh.

Dry heave into the toilet.
Congratulate yourself
for having nothing
to give, nothing to lose.
Admire the roadkill
with their glassy eyes
and flattened insides.


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