Melt

…that this too solid flesh would melt…

Melt, flesh, melt…

Starve cheeks gaunt.
Count vertebrae poking through
an elephant’s ridged back.

Stretch skin around pile of sticks.
Drape clothes on hanger hipbones.

When arms wrap around frame
say how they go right through,
corporeal diminished to ghost.

Melt, flesh, melt…

Let skin prickle with shiver,
bones clink like wind chimes.

Skirt fingers upon skeleton
exposed through dorsal skin.
Body’s topography foreign
under well terrained fingers.

It’s not about sexy anymore.
Not sure it ever was.

Hard to remember the initial
skipped meal of childhood,
running until knees gave to collapse,
the earliest mirror reflection that spat back.

It seems it was always this way.
Hold backbone together
with thin layers of spit and glue.
Skull bobbles on shoulder blades.

Freshman summer of thirteenth year,
a week’s worth of consumption added
to water and orange juice.

On the seventh day,
stomach heaves with the rot of bile.

At nineteen, diet consists of
coffee, ephedrine, cigarettes.

There are no more curves
to define woman over creature.
Feminine forfeits to stick figure
and it isn’t enough.

Melt, flesh, melt…

Keep count.
Constant comparisons:
measurements, lists, graphs,
charting roads which lead to bone yard.

Slip into winter’s shade.
Shortened days make it easy to hide,
stay veiled in the dim.
There is comfort in the buried.

Secure behind barricade,
confined to bed,
no longer know hunger
or hear telephone.
Locked from the inside,
they take the hinges off the door.

Melt, flesh, melt…
Flee this corpse for better.

All I ever wanted,
all I ever wanted,

all I ever wanted,

was

skin

and bones.

“Melt” is previously published in the collection, my verse…, published by Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC in 2012 and Light as a Feather; an anthology of resilience (2019).

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