21 by Jessica Sabo

by Jessica Sabo

This fruit salad is the first / thing I’ve eaten in three days /  
Somewhere along the way / I forgot how to swallow / 
There are extra napkins in / all my pockets like I have a / 
compulsion for clean things / I am a black hole stomach / 
and glass jar heart and there / is never enough that can fill / 
one or the other up and / things seep out as if they were 
made that way / This day is supposed to be a / lot of things  
except a reminder / of everything I could have been / I  
chopped off my hair last week / added another piercing  
inside my mouth / and Dad’s right when he says / “you’ve  
lost too much weight” / and I think how easy it will be to  
climb into the shadows / to stop up all the holes / and lose  
myself in what remains.

Hear Jessica recite and discuss “21” and other poems on Poets Take the Mic (Viewless Wings Live):

Jessica Sabo is a former classical ballet dancer and writer whose work focuses on the intersection between eating disorders, trauma, and sexuality. Her poems and essays have appeared in publications by 805 Lit + Art, Inklette Magazine, and the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, among others. Her work has been anthologized with ChannelMarker Literary Journal, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Damaged Goods Press, and is forthcoming with Quillkeepers Press. Jessica was selected as a finalist for the Adelaide Literary Award in Poetry in 2020 and is also the author of a chapbook, A Body of Impulse, (dancing girl press & studio, 2021). A west-coast transplant and Virginian at heart, she currently lives in southern Nevada with her wife and two rescue dogs, one of which has wings.

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