Content Warning: One possible interpretation of this poem could point to an eating disorder

It was nice, getting to know my bones.
The way my ribs stuck out like a handshake.

The way my hips knew not to comment,
just to stay and fight. Knuckles

and collarbone, white like a dream:
that was how I grew up, how I still live.

My tailbone bruising when I do crunches
on the hard floor. Being able to feel every vertebrae,

see every individual stack on stack,
and sometimes being afraid to move—

feeling my 207 bones rustle inside me like glass.
Like the shattered pieces of a restless sea, melting

and blending into one another on good days,
piercing and cutting on bad.

Sometimes being afraid to move.
I did not ever want to fall apart.

And then there were the times
when it worked so good, all my bones,

so close to the surface, that I could feel them
knitting together and pulsing when I ran

or kissed or danced, could feel them chasing away the night,
my skeleton invisible but all-seeing. My skeleton.

I hope whoever finds it treats it well: it has served me long,
and deserves some rest. The time I told my grandfather

that I could slip my fingertips under my ribs, and that sometimes–
other times–my chest burned, and he said to tell my parents.

And I didn’t. My bones keep their own counsel, and they knew:
someday, it will be necessary for me to leave.