I tried to explain that it wasn't about the physical. That it was more of a brain thing.
But her daughter was shrinking.
And I felt at an utter loss because of my own
She was shrinking and there was nothing I could say to show her how
it would become.
How marvelous to be unencumbered by any traces of
To join the elites in their
To have earned that immunity against being
To wrap that dress a lot tighter, and cinch up that belt.
To wear the little shorts
I couldn't describe to them how after twenty-one years of "well" ness, it could
at a soccer field.
Sneak up behind me, like a spirit.
Turn the air dark and cold
And as that ghost has its way with me I see
my thighs have spread.
Each dimple the scar of an accusation:
And my now middle-aged body spreading in unfamiliar ways
interpreted by that chilling presence...
Must Lose Weight!
Even though I have been well.
All these years.
I want to explain to them how
these deaths in our community* will catapult her
into ever narrower obsessions that will frustrate her no end.
She won't want to be thinking about
While people around her are in agony
in real pain
with real loss.
But her mind will have been possessed
Long long before
when she was glad to be
When it seemed to them that this was about her
And not her mind.
That if only she would eat.
This would go away.
But the longer she plays
at being thin
The stronger the spirit will grow.
And she'll find herself in the grass on a perfect night
when the news will come.
And she'll find herself
suspended in disbelief that a person could be here one moment and the next entirely gone.
Her brain won't know where to go with this. It's beyond belief, and there's nothing she can do to make it
or get better.
But then her ghost will appear.
Sneak up behind her and wrap her up in hot and cold reminders; prickling her all over.
should go on a diet.
And just like that
that she can do.
But I can't seem to explain it
And they can't seem to understand.
That it looks like the body has a problem
But really its a problem
of the mind.
*Three deaths of young people in our community, all within one year.
Plus the mysterious disappearance of my niece's cousin, now presumed to have been murdered.