May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I hope to write a few things about the importance of de-stigmatizing mental illness, what our communities could do to help support those suffering from mental illness, and how we can reign in the myths of mental illness and create a truer picture of those who suffer. I have a few things pending publication elsewhere, and I have to wait until those are a “go” before I can put them here. In the meantime, here is a poem about anorexia, a mental illness that some may push aside as a self-created condition of teenaged girls. It is, however, a very serious mental illness that kills approximately 20% of those who suffer. For more information, please visit the NAMI website.
The computer blinks as you cough.
I am uncomfortable on the floor.
I saw my collarbones once: thin beauty burgeoning.
Ribs jauntily flaunt, waiting to be counted,
balanced atop hip bones blooming in thin-skin soil.
The triumph of emaciation.
The control of self-denial.
The superiority over everyone,
I will be better than your broken nose, childbearing hips.
I will fight your curse with knives,
beat you with my brittle femur.