Anorexia Nervosa

Every night, my sister dines on air
and alabaster, pushing potatoes up against
an embankment of peas, into winter’s
spare room of loneliness. Under the table,
the pampered dog takes inventory. Our mother,
fashioned out of a magazine, in pedal-pushers
and a midriff, says, Fatten up, girls, while you can,
a husband wants a pretty girl with a thin waist-line.
A froth with bite, her sweet talk atop
a blunt knife blade. Night by night, my sister’s
eyes sink flat as the blown-out tire
on the highway—Where I watched
a man jack-up the axle and then
feel her up at the steering wheel.
Everything has a price in this life, our mother said.
My sister subtly jabs a cube of beef until
it bleeds a river of grief and lands face down
to where the dog knows his cue.
In the rain, that hellish night
the man (or was it God) that whispered
in my ear Shut the fuck up, or else.
From the legs of the dinner table,
or the back of a car, I watched it all.
The way my sister pulled her thinning
hair back to yank her insides out
over the toilet. Thin as a barbed wire fence,
her arms and legs fold into a self,
a prison of skin she starves herself
to jump from. The dog waits, innocent
as an unlit cigarette. Our mother now
old as soap, says she doesn’t remember a thing.
My own ribcage and heart glow inside my sister’s
prom dress, bodiless on a flower covered bed—
bones settling in her new home address.