I grew up around girls who cry when they eat.
Who fear to chew.
The crumbling bathroom walls.
The numbers shown.
Suddenly she falls off the conversation.
Her smile turns into bitterness.
Her lips crackle and sheds tears over her cream coffee.
Looking at women shimmy by.
Their world a better one she imagines.
Here she sits with her teenage depression.
Tearing at the skin across her nails.
I grew up around women who cry when they nourish their bodies.
Who stuff their faces to feel completion.
To carry love. To annihilate solitude. To erase emptiness.
I looked at women who shut themselves into bathrooms to collapse amongst their loneliness.
Amongst the many desserts.
The cleaning and rubbing and scrubbing of the kitchen platform.
The demanding mouths.
The greyness unshattered.
The pounding on her door.
The key she swallowed whole; has always been inside of her.
The key to shift the appetite.
To stop the hammering of her stomach.
The gargling with her own tears.
I grew up around mothers seeking sanctuaries in the bathroom sink.
Stepping out with flushed faces, eyes swollen, aggrandised.
I grew up around girls who repeat what they see.
An emotion can be duplicated, transferred.
A shrine for nurture.
“The Three Graces” by Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640)