dangerous idolatry

I want a poem

ambitious fingers climb their way to the backs of throats,
assist stomachs heaving discontentment into porcelain bowls.
 
sleeves saved for just such a purpose wipe smiles on faces of girls who see stars
upon departure from the restroom. unable to distinguish between blackout
and big name, they imagine their fainting footsteps scream
“femininity.”
 
quick to think that we’re slick when no one notices the frequent
restroom visits, aunts and uncles thinking we go just to
peruse the magazines, for we have peeked through our devastation just long enough
to discover idolatry. our families still rejoice in the beauty of our smiles -- they have no idea
how smiles are corrupted by regular exchanges with one’s bile duct,
acidity claiming teeth for its own, eroding enamel
and self-esteem one lunch at a time.
 
we call ourselves strong when we cry alone
in bathroom stalls, tiles
facilitating our shivers
as we peer through glossy pages
 
of pictures pulled so far into line we begin to wonder why we are curvy,
 
begin to cut nails short to better acquaint fingertips with esophagus, begin to forget
the figure of a natural woman. instead,
fingers longing to be lodged in the soft tissue at the back of our throats
shake in front of dazed pupils, unable to focus on the fuzzy rim in front of our vision
unable to remember when this wasn’t our first response.

dangerous idolatry was published in Issue VII of St. Sucia zine in the summer of 2016.
© 2016 by Marisa Adame 

© 2016

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