Energy (kcal)

Somehow, she feels,
this food alone
has the capacity to change her:
make her unattractive to the opposite sex.
As though the apparent merits
(of personality)
are concealed by blubber
and so overlooked.
Thus these protruding ribs and brittle bones
are deemed perversely beautiful,
perhaps evoking a masculine instinct to protect:
so thin, so vulnerable, she unwittingly becomes submissive.

Time passes,
lust withers and dies
leaving only the bare branches of decorum and pity.

Now she is but an Oxfam child:
her sex is lost in hand-me-down skin.
She has no energy to live, to love, to breathe, to bleed.
Hold her gently close
as she slips away
leaving only dust,
a guilty memory,
upon your fingers.

FIRE 22, p 9; Kate Davidson