Joanna Costello


This is a poem of two parts. The first is from the view point of the anorexic, the second is from the view point of an outsider viewing them.
Poem published in the Bath Spa Anthology 2008, and will be in the Autumn issue of the Eating Disorder Association's magazine, Upbeat.

The mirror tells a different story from what you had told me.
Perhaps you were lying or your joke was not so funny.
My bulges hang and wobble about sagging on their frame. You see?
Upon the skin – purple marks of bulging streams rise
and I wonder if I am now splitting at the seams.
Everything must be clean: unseen or hidden away for my safety.
Food covered me in stains that I couldn’t get off.
My jaw, as if stuck with toffee, forgets to move some days
and I count the bulges on my body, measuring all the ways
in which I might have lost weight. The scales – they cant be right.
Again and it’s the same. Getting off, I stare down at my stomach:
Lumps twisting like snakes wrapped around my body.
My clothes stretch and itch and I cant bear to think
how things are so wrong.

By the wardrobe
she slips
into her
Her shadow
wears her like
a dress.
Pain puckers
her skin
like a lemon
to her lips –
Bitter sweet
Then she looks
in the mirror
and tries to find
herself inside.
And I can’t seem
to understand
how she sees
herself so wrong.

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, July 28, 2009

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