Before we even enter the room, we know each other,
old friends that we pretend we don’t notice;
we tap our toes on the floor
cross our arms in front of our chests
and try not to look in each other’s eyes.
We see the guilt in our faces
and we hate each other for it,
for our too-big sweatshirts that swallow our rib cages,
the shallow hearts inside struggling to beat
as we fold further into ourselves.
Comparing wrists, ankles, collarbones,
we fall into the hierarchy of beauty,
who is the sickest,
whose skeleton knocks together when she walks,
who passes out on cold linoleum.
And when they call our names one by one,
the last girl to be taken away stays,
sagging in her chair for an extra minute,
hip bones pressing against the hard plastic,
wondering who she’ll become in her next life.
Julia Beecher is a college student from Cambridge, Massachusetts realizing her kindergarten dream of becoming a writer. Her work has been featured or is upcoming in Entropy Magazine, Write On!, Modern Teen, The Daily Drunk, and Misery Tourism. Send her fan mail (or hate mail) on Twitter: @JuliaBeecher