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Take it

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People keep telling me I look so skinny,
and although they say it as an observation, I take it
as a compliment, like a medal made of orchids
I can pin to my chest, like a creamy silk dress to drape
myself in, I take it like a Pulitzer Prize,
like I’ve done something worth doing, I dance
half-naked, alone in my room, sun rays beaming from
my armpits and the ridges of my ribs, my light
touching everyone I know, falling deeper
in love with the world the smaller I become in it,
though most days I’m not actually touching anyone,
because actually touching most people requires all the effort
it takes me to breathe for a day, and probably most people
won’t find me beautiful, really, not in that wholesome
curvy honey way, not like a stallion or arctic
wolf, but more like a spider people study in awe, like an accident
on the side of the road you have to
slow down and watch, to see if there are stretchers, white sheets or blood,
if body parts are hanging out of windows, if anyone’s standing
with their face in their hands, having a worse day than you,
and if I get any thinner, people will start to look at me
and feel sad, and I’ll take it
like a martyr, like a lover, I’ll let you stare at me, say yes,
I’m a wreck, yes, I know suffering, yes,
I am dying too.

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