Another anorexia glose

“Burn it up on re-entry, burn it,
burn it. So she trains
with weights, she jogs, she runs,
as if the sky were falling.”
– ‘The Wasting Game’, Philip Gross
She’s a heart of ice, streaking through
the bloodstream of vacuous space.
She’s a meteor, shoots alone
with target precision and pace.
Burn it up on re-entry, burn it.
She revolves a constant orbit,
tries to enter our atmosphere
but the force is too strong, a pulse
of solid ice, anger and fear.
Burn it. So she trains
her mind in rituals of control,
carves fractal perfection of bone.
She build a woman of snowflakes,
shapes an ice body of her own:
with weights, she jogs, she runs
a death dance in exactitude.
She’s lost in the infinity
of three-dimensional space, spins
a desperate web of safety
as if the sky were falling.


“Consider the kind of body that enters blueness, 
made out of dead-end myth and mischievous 
whispers of an old, borderless  
existence where the body’s meaning is both more and less.”
– Eavan Boland, ‘How It Was Once In Our Country’

Liminal, caught in the suction 
of waves falling back to the sea. 
Hybrid, fluid between worlds which 
split genderless identity; 
consider the kind of body that enters blueness. 

Luring lost sailors onto rocks, 
rulers of river, rain and sea. 
Prototype virgins, sexless souls, 
paradoxical history. 
Made out of dead-end myth and mischievous 

narratives that flow with the tide; 
shape-shifting siren, lost and found 
with knife-slashed legs and open mouth 
a bleeding hole whose only sound 
whispers of an old, borderless 

story echoed through centuries. 
Transient tides hide paradox, 
detached pain and volatile self 
which rise and crash like waves on rocks. 
Existence where the body’s meaning is both more and less.

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.