60

I once had this beautiful silk dress
dotted with oil stains
I couldn’t get out.
I’d wring my knuckles raw
trying to scrape this pattern
from a spot only I could see.

I would question everyone:
“Do you see a difference?”
“Can you tell?”
I could feel it on me
like bullet holes in my shoulder blade
lodged into my skin
and yet I only quantified myself
if someone else noticed, too.

an impurity
a part of me
that ached from the inside
at a time I used to count calories
and revel in my whittling
8, 6, 4, 2, 0
I embarked to be even more invisible than
those defects I desperately wanted someone
to notice

I wonder if that girl with the silk dress
understands why I gave it up
and why it was that
she so desperately tried to
erase an imperfection that wasn’t really there.
I certainly don’t fit in those
clothes of a time long past
and I may never get to 0 again
but at least
my knuckles are soft again.

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21 Replies to “60”

  1. What a powerful message Elle! Those “imperfections” that only we see that we swear everyone else notices and is talking about, laughing behind our backs. It’s a relief when we learn to accept who we are and embrace the “imperfections” that are a part of us and make us the unique and wonderful individuals that we are.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Elle, Again another beautifully written and powerful poem from the heart. You have a wonderful way of arranging words to fit your poems. The poem says so much of how many of us feel and then to get over it and realize that life is not about the imperfections but about accepting those imperfections. I love the poem. It’s such a portrait of life. Stan

    Like

  3. This poem was deep and yet not suffocatingly so; I’m quite impressed by your ability to broach such a serious topic (your struggles with anorexia) in a way that’s still worded beautifully.

    Also, I’m glad that you made it through what must’ve been a dark time. Getting to 0 is so much less important than your health and wellbeing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Josh. This one was a tough one for sure. It’s hard to put it into words and no less into poetry, but I’m glad 60 has manifested those thoughts clear enough to explain to others. Thank you thank you thank you.

      Like

  4. Then She said, “Dad, I am not scared when you stain yourself, cry, feel disoriented or lost. Simply, I love that you cry and want to see more of your tears in life. I want to know you in all the ways you are light and dark. I love you, and that is why I cry with you, “Dad..””

    Liked by 1 person

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