1. Piece of metal
Repeatedly pressed against my skin
Holding my mind for a ransom
I paid in blood and tears.
Frantically shoved down my throat
In hopes I’d throw up
Something worth loving.
3. Meals a day
I couldn’t choke down
Without choking on my failure.
Every bite a war I lost.
4. Numbers on a scale.
Three and a decimal point.
As if .5 of a pound
Could possibly measure my success.
5. Times I put those pills to my tongue
And willed myself to swallow.
But the only thing I swallowed was my dignity
Because I wasn’t even strong enough
To take my own life.
6. Teen years old.
Trying desperately to disappear.
So I couldn’t fail anymore.
7. Deadly sins.
But no one told me seeking perfection was one of them.
8. Therapists later.
I still don’t run right.
9. Letters that changed my life.
9. I’m beautiful.
9. Yes, I said beautiful.
9. And I refuse to allow myself to be defined by numbers of any kind.
9. I am enough.
9. I have always been enough.
9. I will always be enough.
9. You can’t hurt me anymore.
10. If you must use numbers to define me, use these:
My heart beats 72 times per minute.
It takes 26 muscles to smile.
And on average, I will meet over 9 million people in my lifetime.
9 million people with hearts beating in time
72 times per minute.
Who I will force to use 26 muscles
When they smile at me for the first time.
And my god if that’s not…beautiful.
I don’t know what is.