The Sick Girl

She walks in with her too-loose sweats

Flat ass

Casual tee

Eyes darting about

Until they reach their destination:

The cookie display

The snack-tray

She fingers a bag of BBQ chips

Pursing her lips

Hating and loving the salty sweet things

She gets to the front

She’s ordering

Yep

I can always spot The Sick Girl

I see her mind darting internally

As fast as those eyes

A million thoughts about

What to buy, what to buy!?

But one bag would never be quite the thing

To stop the Pastry Sirens from their incessant singing

And One Cookie is like blasphemy

I mean, really?

Really!?

Really. You must be joking.

As if there were such a thing as One anything

When it comes to her Insatiable Feeding

She can’t fill the hole in her Soul

With any material

Or flour-and-sugar-filled thing

But she’d get an A-plus for trying

And trying

She orders safely ‘til she can go crazy

“Non-fat latte, please.”

Yep. I can always spot The Sick Girl.

She’s at the supermarket now

Free to unleash the Craving Beast

With her unwashed hair in her face

Or Hat or hoodie

Attempting to be incognito as her bony fingers throw in

5 more boxes of Lucky Charms

Or Haagen Daz

Or chocolate-caramel bars

Her manicured nails distracting from

Her knuckle scars

On fingers that help her get every last bit

Out

They help her shout in that silent kind of shout

Because she doesn’t know what the hell to do

But try and numb the pain all out

I would try and meet her gaze and say

Everything will be okay

But the truth is I don’t know

And she thinks she’s hidden, anyway

There, on bright florescent light display

In aisle 3

She’s standing, then, in front of me

The clerk tries to make conversation

As she scans across things no one should eat

The Sick Girl can’t mutter back a single word

‘Cuz talking about the weather is just absurd

When her life is forever hanging in the balance

And you might Judge her but I do not

For we should never mistake Pain for Malice

I walk out, I say a prayer

One day she will be the one in line behind

The Sick Girl.

(Or better yet, there won’t be a Sick Girl to be in line behind.)

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