Anorexia: a glose

“How she meshed my head
in the half-truths
of her fevers

till I renounced
milk and honey
and the taste of lunch.”
– ‘Anorexic’, Eavan Boland

The pervasive pain of hunger
fastens my mind to flesh and blood.
Mindful, aware of each moment,
success in the heart’s slowing thud.
How she meshed my head.

She’s there in the space between thoughts
and then she speaks the thoughts herself.
She’s me but not me, voicing fears
and hidden threats, praising my health.
In the half-truths

I could sense myself, an echo
mirrored in hatred and discord.
She was my safety, my comfort,
yet I feared the double-edged sword
of her fevers.

She whispered paradoxes, rules
that restrained my spiralling thoughts
with dialectics of control,
structured security of sorts
till I renounced

the chaos of my former life,
distilled through her inverted love.
Angles of detachment, senses
keen with hunger, nightmare dreams of
milk and honey.

I didn’t set out to lose. Just
knew that I didn’t want to gain.
My fears numbed in her cold embrace,
emotions faded, as did pain
and the taste of lunch.

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