I could not have been ten when dad told me
Pull your stomach in.
Younger still I saw my shape
In a ballet leotard.
At 18 I counted calories
And at 20 I rubbed raw my throat until acid boiled up.
But it was worth it when I saw
The way they looked at me in clubs
The way they treated me.
Made all the pain, exhaustion, tears
And even when my body slowed
And natural cycles disappeared.
It was worth it.
It was punishment and I felt righteous.
And I would not wish it on an enemy.
So when you call her a potato
When she has done nothing to hurt you
I wonder if my real shame
Is letting you think that’s ok.