Dear emaciated girl on my block:
I know you’re a woman. But you look like a girl. Wearing those kid-sized jean shorts that are too big for you. I was walking my dogs when I saw you. I almost dropped their leashes. I had to turn around, go the other way. Because it seems like it hurts you to move. And it hurts me to watch.
You’ve caved. You’re deep in. You fell in there. And inside of that dark hole in your mind, you’re still on the ground. The wallpaper is made of magazine pictures that you can worship as you sip calorie-free tea, as you damage yourself, as you loathe and you ache and you turn off your life.
I used to be in there, too. I forget. But when I saw you I remembered my old, ugly den. It was hollow and hidden. It was like holding my head under water and only taking air when I was gasping and desperate.
I want to hold your boney face in my hands and hold my past, too. I won’t let go until you look at me and see that things can be different. And that it’s worth it. And that you’re worth it.
You think it’s too far to get above again. You think there’s no way you’d ever climb the distance. You think you can’t reach. But you don’t have to. It starts where you are, fallen and down. On your knees, but looking up.
I am looking up.
p.s. If I measured my lastima in pounds, I’d break the scale.