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Poltergeists
Catherine Sherman
Staring into the mirror
at the poltergeists of the past
they are leering
laughing at your breast size
Saying they're too big
laughing harder at your face
at your acne
and your worry
They whisper in your ears,
"UGLY"
Staring into the mirror
taking off your clothes
like peeling away your flesh
You get goosebumps
Cold without your skin

There it is, your body,
EXPOSED
The body you hate
DISPLAYED
Reflected in the glass
Thighs too big
Stretch marks carved like scars
You hate them
Stomach too big
Disproportionate
You hate it
FAT FAT FAT
It's written across your forehead
And the ghosts are laughing
at your deprecation
They nibble at your ears
And hiss,
"No one will fuck you"
and you believe them
You touch yourself
Between the legs
It makes your body feel good
but everything else hurts
Choked up
Broken up
Fucked up

The spirits can smell your self- hatred
And they laugh
Sick humor
Making you sick
So you vomit
Trying to be skinny
You don't eat
Trying to be skinny
You swallow pills
Trying to die

Second-chance angels
run their fingers
Along your stomach
where the skin is soft and sensitive
And it feels good
and you wake up
Alive

You stare in the mirror
Wrapped in an afghan
And your eyes are fiercely sky-colored
The poltergeists giggle that you are still ugly
and, in anger, you tear your heart out of your chest
crushing it beneath your feet
Crying...
You lift your eyes to the glass
and somehow you are still there
the hands of angels on your shoulders
Alive

And you grow up
And up against a wall
A lover whispers in your ear, "BEAUTIFUL"
And, in the reflection in his eyes,
You are

Beautiful
Exposed
And Alive


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