Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Posts tagged “health

Healthy Bulimia


fresh acid burning in the back of my throat,
darkening my teeth
and freeing that stabbing feeling
in the pit of my stomach,
i purge all that is negative
out of me.
i used to look at bitterness and anger and self loathing
and pain and pity
and say desperately, “feed me”
but i’ve found new food today.
tears of joy and peace as toxins release
and when i breathe,
i am a new person.

the world is so different now.

i didn’t know i was viewing life through dirty eyeglasses,
mistaking danger for greener pastures.
now i see what i was missing.
i am emptying,
slowly but surely
and in the future,
i see me happy
and dancing like no one is looking,
living like everyone is looking,
and free
to not care either way.


The Destruction


it’s gonna kill me
but still i can’t see
not having it in my life.
every time
i break out in hives,
i ignore my body’s signs.
today i sneezed and felt
a torturing tightness
in my chest.
i wanted to call for help
but didn’t want to confess
my negligence.

my body
no longer feels like mine.
my skin
belongs to someone i don’t know
and even my breath doesn’t flow
the way it used to.
i’m used to
not following through
but now i see the clues
right before me
and refuse to solve the puzzle.

i don’t want to buy a vowel because i know
that O-
bedience is better than sacrifice
and i’m wondering if now i’m paying the price
that is right for my rebellion.
i wonder if my pain is punishment
because this stings
more than anything.

how long can i risk
my health?
how long i can remain
a prodigal daughter lying to herself,
running from what nourishes her
and continuing to feed on what destroys her?

i’ve had fun in this party of mine
and threw out my royal oats
in exchange for pieces of swine
paid for by peace of mind.
my mind tells me to move
but a nagging voice says “Stay still.”
my body questions how long
i’ll be able to feel
this way
before i become the sole employee
of a sweat shop run by a corporation devoted to the
complete and utter destruction
of me.