To Ana: At 2 AM On A Wednesday

In this incredible piece of struggle and strength, poet Maddie Thomas portrays the battle many face against themselves and the memories held within.

(Trigger Warning: Eating Disorder/Self Harm)

ribs

To Ana: At 2 AM On A Wednesday

Maddie Thomas

i have pulled at my skin
and wanted a way out.

my bones can cut diamonds.
my hips are pushing sharp at the walls of my flesh
you can count
every vertebrae in my spine
each rib is a knife
push out, push out, suck in, suck in-
when did my body become a gun?

the faint outline of the word “ugly” is carved into my thigh.
the result of a razor and words.
tell your daughter she is disgusting. tell her she is not good enough. she will always believe you.
i remember the way your words dripped like gasoline. i remember. i remember.
i think of the smell of perfume and alcohol
when my fingers are down my throat.

i read old letters. i remember the days when i was young and did not want
to disappear,
before the world told me
the light i hold in my chest burns too bright.
now,
the flame is barely lit
and i am the one holding the bucket of water-
it’s always been my fault.

i think of the word “no” when i flush dinner down the toilet. i think of how hollow it sounded in your mouth.
i curled up like an animal ready to die
and all you did was kiss my cheek.
you said “thank you” when you were done.
i tried to wash you away.
i took three showers, with the water so hot it left my skin pink
and i rubbed my thighs raw.
sometimes, i can still feel you.

my knees have memorized the tiles of the bathroom floor.

i do not want to be an empty coffin.
i am fading into a ghost,
a vacant house that has grown old and collapsed under the weight of the sky.
i am not ready
to die
and yet i have been digging my grave for eight years.
i will fill the ground with soil;
watch the flowers bloom from my decay.
i will stomp on the grave of my past
and keep fucking moving.
i know tomorrow is going to come. i know i deserve to continue living. i have seen myself alive in the colors of the sunset.

dear ana,
you haven’t won.

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