I am so full and so empty
I fill my pockets with stones
and watch the scale tick tick tick to the right
I paint my face to avoid looking myself in the eye
I am a skeleton inside folds of skin
that I coat lovingly with cocoa butter
willing my own softness to seep back in
I look at old photographs and don’t recognize that girl
cheekbones lifted high in a colgate smile
eyes crinkled at the corners, shut against brilliant sun
skin summer smooth
I wonder when I slipped into her body
and where my own body has gone off to
I felt myself missing the nightmares,
missing the jagged edges I used to insert
into my waiting gullet. I hardly felt it.
I missed the cold. I missed the way
the air would become crystalline
before my eyes. I wondered if I could
grasp it in my gloved hands, just in case.
I missed the emptiness, the hollow sound
every step made against the pavement.
The echoes reverberated in my rib cage,
sending my heart stuttering through its beats.
I remembered the nightmares with startling clarity,
as if they had never left. I remembered that.
Now… now, I no longer just remember. I know,
and that knowledge fills the spaces between my
aching bones. It lends me oxygen, “just in case”.
My heart beats strong, in spite of its holes.
It dusts the cobwebs from my hope and
I know I’m not so forlorn after all.