An Apology Note to My Body
Not for the bruises inscribed in my knees at six years old,
or gravel-shaped cuts dotting my palms
after being kicked off my bike like a rodeo bull,
or even the sliver of a scar on my right index finger
from closing it in a van door when I was seven.
No, I have no remorse
for the innocent;
not a twinge of sympathy regarding the unfortunate results
of relatively harmless careless actions
and playful worth-it memories.
I am sorry for getting slashed at
by the perfectly intact glass
of the bathroom mirror, for feeling severed,
just by seeing its reflective surface.
I’m not sorry for taking up space,
but I’m sorry I ever was.
I am sorry for
switch off the light,
lock the door,
the scratch of fingers in my throat
and the starkness of the cold linoleum floor
I practiced because I loathed
the way you curved
and the fatness of my pseudo-waist.
I’m sorry for falling into patterns of self-hate
that I aimed at you. Patterns
not unlike that of an alcoholic,
commencing with afternoon drinks or slightly restricted meals
and ending with wildly depressing stories to tell
and crying on stranger’s floors—
but there is no Lackers of Self-Esteem Anonymous,
no chips to collect
for every time I tell myself I’m beautiful
or, better yet, value more
than my appearance.
I’m sorry for discarding that one dress
(that you looked stellar in, by the way)
because I had degenerated into such an unhealthy
and addictively abhorrent relationship with you
that I feared
even the slightest tightness
in my attire.
I’m sorry for habitual body monitoring. I’m sorry
for using my fingers to count calories
and not positive attributes. I’m sorry
for all of the aforementioned repugnant routines
I’ve picked up over the past few years,
whether I’ve stopped them or not,