skin & bones.





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I learned recently that a girl I used to know had died. I found her obituary online and it hinted at suicide. All the Facebook messages—it was her birthday the other week— said things like

always my love

you are so missed

you were taken too early

But what they should have said, maybe, was that she wasn’t taken. She left.

*

I visited her once in the hospital. She told me she had appendicitis but when I got there her roommate was as skinny as she was. All bones and bulging veins.

“They’re worried about my weight,” she told me.

The nurse came in and said that visiting hours were over.

She held two bottles of Ensure, glistening wet with condensation.

*

She would only eat with plastic cutlery. She worked at a flower shop on the edge of Harvard Square. She sold tulips to Jennifer Garner. We met in a toy store. We worked together there. She never ate lunch.

*

The last time she posted to Facebook was four years ago, in January. There is a photograph of her with another girl, a scarf covering most of her features except one eye and a tuft of maybe blonde hair.

The caption says

while the poison sets in

and the picture was posted the day before she died.

You can’t help but wonder

if she meant it literally.

Actual poison. Real poison.

The photograph was taken in Half Moon Bay.

She was just as skinny

as I remember.

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photographs taken in the bluebell fields in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. 

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