Poetry

Bulimic in G


I bend over the porcelain seat;
back arched, feet
planted and ready to release the buildup.
Voice Lesson prep like the scent of a
memory used to ring
inside the stall. The bathroom,
of Colburn Hall, with the best
acoustics on campus, was once a
retreat where I could warm
up before voice class.
Back then, I bent to set my
ribcage in position. I would rise
over fourteen measures, to stand
before the mirror and watch air
come into the crevices of rounded
flesh. Sharpie notes
on beige stall creeping
into view.
 
My audience.

The marks are much the same:
Scott’s number beckoning for a good
time and a heart that traps
Mason and Delia forever,
together beside the note
that reads I want to die. Death
is not an option
here as the image of my body
in an oversized coffin
builds before me. I cannot leave
until I fit.

I release poison salad and remember
the pond of bile, churning
in my stomach as breath pressed
downward and moved outward, letting
notes stream from within. I would spit sixteenth
notes singing, Mo-no-ma-no-ma. And ride
the scale to my highest
D above the C above high C.
The height of my voice, a prized
part of the person who I was. I am
drenched in sweat. My face is red
with rosebud pores lifted
from the pressure of releasing my interior. I am
sinking away. Shrinking to become
voiceless. A statue. I am as a collapsed
shoulder, dragged behind those who I should
know. Once I sat tall on the body.
Erect. Now I hover in bathroom
stall corners, shaking at the thought of group
lunch.

I still have a coda. A repetition
of habits. Rituals have replaced
rituals. The lips the teeth
the tip of the tongue placed atop
a shelf. The chant in action: The floor
the hall the bathroom stall
drink enough water or don’t
lose it all.