Shrinking
Sarah Jacobs

Sarah’s sunken belly scrapes the notches of her backbone,
the sickness, the holy anorexia, devouring her
from the inside out.

With more propensity to press than protein, she sucks
nutrients from the air, guzzling down all she can
from light itself.

Pilgrims cloud her sight like cataracts, grubby fingers
poking at razor clam ribs, their sharp gasps
her only sustenance.

Tangled in sweat-soaked sheets, she sees the glint
of a light bulb, hears the roar of an engine,
feels the but of a rifle.

Her throat swollen shut, gammy with phlegm,
she cannot swallow a crumb, a gram,
her mother’s pleas,

she exists on the dust
of a moth’s
wing.


Submitted to Banshee – response by July 1