Nine Years

Nine years of sleep-starved nights
And a restless hunger, which I can’t shake
Nine years, which have lead to this weakness
And the filthy habit I can’t break

Nine years of bittersweet clarity
Of my body and mind detached
Of these empty promises I feed myself
Of this itch I cannot scratch

Nine years since I admitted defeat
And found a friend in abuse
A companion in a twisted world
A perfect lie, a perfect excuse

To be this empty person
To exist within a shell
To keep my feelings to myself
To perfect my private hell

Nine years of binging and purging
Of starvation to purity
Of the blade, the lighter, the uncried tears
Of the distorted images of me

And still you don’t see through this
You see the smile but not the pain
Which is thinly hidden behind these eyes
Along with the years of shame

Nine years of guilt surrounds me
As I pull my hair back off my face
Run the tap and kneel on the floor
And fall back into disgrace

Nine years have passed since the first time
Yet I may as well be back there
12 years old, purging my soul
On the floor, exposed, shaking, bare

Nakedness still frightens me
My body is still not my own
The skin on my hands doesn’t belong to me
In my chest, my heart is a stone

The images of myself betray me
The mirrors tell lies through the glass
I feel as though I am still that 12 year old girl
But in reality, nine years have passed.

21, on the bathroom floor
The smell of vomit hangs in the air
Fingers aching and throat sore
And the shame, because this time I care

Nine years ago, on the same floor
Kneeling down as though to pray
Tears in my eyes and acid on my teeth
With no idea what I’d started that day.

Nine years of doctors, of hospitals, of pills
Of weight charts and targets and scales
Nine years of blood pressure and laxatives and aching
All mean nothing now that I’ve failed

Nine years of endless nights
Of silent tears, abuse and heartache
Of bathroom lights and kitchen-spent nights
Of this filthy habit, I just can’t break.

(c)  2006.

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1 Comment

  1. Nine years and the cost of that time – the crystalization of a seed intended for flower, but trapped in repetitive choice – stopping growth – from the moment of the first time, to the awful day of realization… There is alot of heartbreak in this poem, yet the realization opens the door for light to come in. The day has arrived when the person knows that continual banging of head against the wall eventually causes headache, the much-needed reality check which precedes changing choices. Good work! Vivid, emotional write, with tempo, and chilling lines (with no idea what I started that day…)


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