"How she meshed my head
in the half-truths 
of her fevers


till I renounced 
milk and honey 
and the taste of lunch.”

- ‘Anorexic’, Eavan Boland


The pervasive pain of hunger 
fastens my mind to flesh and blood.
Mindful, aware of each moment, 
success in the heart’s slowing thud. 
How she meshed my head.


She’s there in the space between thoughts 
and then she speaks the thoughts herself. 
She’s me but not me, voicing fears 
and hidden threats, praising my health. 
In the half-truths


I could sense myself, an echo 
mirrored in hatred and discord. 
She was my safety, my comfort, 
yet I feared the double-edged sword 
of her fevers.


She whispered paradoxes, rules 
that restrained my spiralling thoughts 
with dialectics of control, 
structured security of sorts 
till I renounced


the chaos of my former life, 
distilled through her inverted love. 
Angles of detachment, senses 
keen with hunger, nightmare dreams of 
milk and honey.


I didn’t set out to lose. Just 
knew that I didn’t want to gain. 
My fears numbed in her cold embrace, 
emotions faded, as did pain 
and the taste of lunch.


Published by Alex Anderson