The Accountant

By Michelle Fulkerson

You have traded in your confidence
for a scale and a preconceived notion.
An accountant is what you have become.
Counting calories are your new ABC’s.

I’m watching you waste away
your veins transforming into Braille
your skin transparent as tracing paper
clothes hanging from your skeletal frame.

Your school planner becomes a calorie counter.
No room for food when you are swallowing lies
consuming air like it is crackers,
and guzzling water like it is air.

You are in too deep now.
You try to deny, to say you don’t have a problem,
but darling…I don’t think it normal
to pass out in the hall.

At eighty-five pounds you blow in the wind.
With pale pupils and dead rimmed irises,
the only language you are fluent in is numbers.
Numbers on the scale
of calories
of days without food.

An accountant is what you are.
In a malnourished haze you navigate,
dim bulbs turned into searchlights
conversations faded into static.
Your stomach now so small
fasting for days
to reach that “perfect size”
yearning for the weight you once were.

An accountant you are.
I’m looking at you.
Watching you

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