“How I Eat” Fiction. Based on a True Chronic Stomach Illness.

“A willingness to let things move and change and let yourself hurt, and then when it’s time to stop hurting, let yourself move into another phase. Whatever your body and your soul needs to feel.” – Elsa Kennedy

“How I Eat”

Fiction. Based on a True Chronic Stomach Illness.

by Nikki Wicz

This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.

My body was not my own.
It was a fussy creature
Starving and rejecting
Anything I could feed it.

I started with food, but it
Hissed and popped in my stomach
Like metal melting in acid.
Anything that stayed down
My stomach would hoard
As if I might never eat again.

I tried exercise, but whatever
Ghosts that lived in my limbs
Clawed into my muscles
So that I felt weak, and my
Will softened.

I ate words and ideas
Like sugar. I was fat
With thoughts, but no matter
How much I retained, there was
No way to regurgitate it.
My hands could not create
The beauty I consumed.

My pen, the extension
Of my fingertips, could
Only create a monotonous blur
Of ink, that swelled on compliments.

This body was not mine.
It was a mass of cells
That accidentally
Took up space
In the universe.

But after masticating
On the cruelty of reality
For so long, it’s flavor,
Like gum, becomes dull,
And even existential dread
Becomes boring.

I wanted to believe that life
Was just waking up
To work
And eat
And sleep
With the facade of love
For something.
Because happiness,
Like fiber,
Was too hard to digest.

But this,
The scribblings of a mad woman
At midnight, that marinate
Overnight in dreams that
Tomorrow
Might become something
Half-baked
That reminds me,

This body of mine

Is how I eat.

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