Living by Numbers

Her reflection presents itself
apologetically, pulsing
with shame.
She sees swollen
squishy cheeks,
bloated thighs
and flab
swallowing herself.
She turns to the side,
sucking in the organs
slouched behind her skin,
wishing them smaller
and smaller –
to disappear.
Her gut’s protrusion
sickens her,
as she stifles a
gag at the sight.
She slices
the lettuce’s head
into identical shreds,
envisioning hacking
the flab
off of her body
with each stroke
of her knife.
One two three four five six seven cherry tomatoes.
One two three four five six seven slices of cucumber.
She grinds the water
between her teeth,
relishing the degeneration
of each bite
to flavourless,
watery mush.
As time passes
black spiders crawl
into her vision
scurrying in the path
of her thoughts,
taunting her as
they dance across
every surface.
Helium seeps
into her head
as thoughts turn
to glue
and breathing demands
Her ponytail is a
thin wisp of
what it once was,
her bones
her skin
like the sharp nails
that snapped
as she unbuttoned
her blouse.
One two three four five six seven months
trudge past
crimson absent
between her legs.
Pride colours
blanched cheeks
as shivers
across her

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