She said she was jealous of me

I said … Don’t be envious

Forgive me, but you know not of what you speak

Sure, on the outside I may

At casual glance

Seem to fit those flimsy labels you covet

But I urge you, look closer past the coterie of assumption

For all the slender thighs and long hair and stamps on passports

All the friends at weekends and praise from strangers

Those things are mostly artifice or first impression

Stay a while

You’ll see physical pain pique herself, a whirling Dervish devouring relentless

Hourly grinding me to dust, Devil of innards, chewing strength to perishment

You’ll witness the way it’s hard to eat out, with my friends who do not grasp

How sick food can make me; even a little wine, a little garlic, a little poison

When you envy my waist-line or say I look young, remember that

Behind closed doors, we writhe and lament, even as we smile for photos

Stay a while and you won’t accuse me of anorexia, or having great legs or hair

You’ll see the fistfuls that come out in the bath, how dead I look throwing up at 3am

That I surround myself with friends because I have no family and family is all I ever wanted to fill the void

But don’t pity me, that’s not my desire, leave that for martyrs

Rather: Stop hating girls like me for their good skin and brave smiles

Pay attention and you’ll see why they can’t afford to give in

How often I have wished, how weary trying has been …

I’m not half of what I could have become and that’s okay, except when it’s not

I didn’t excel as that scientist or attorney, who travels for business in 4 inch heels

Spending weekends in the Hamptons with her three kids and a labradoodle

Or somedays have the energy to take out the trash or clean the vomit from my chin

Depression haunts the edge of many days like quicksand tastes my pulse

I cancel on people, I avoid birthdays, some days the urge to jump reminds me of hunger pains

Hot and molten – a fascination luring me to lights in the forest

When we drown trying to exist and exist despite ourselves

We may look young, free and happy but there’s more

In the shift of our eyes when others fit and we fall apart

If you hate me for being slim and turning heads, I beg you, remember

A turned head is just a turned head

We are still beneath all the layers, bereft, when we are bereft

Don’t be envious of my moments of joy; they are small

Don’t hate that girl from the ivy league university who seems to have it all

She might be like me

She might be like you

If we quit resenting and sticking pins in other girls

Imagine? What we could do?