When I wanted to die in San Francisco but instead I went for a walk, and I found myself in a bookstore just as the first meeting of a Baby-sitters Club book club was about to begin.
When I would listen to Nine Inch Nails The Downward Spiral while I did crunches in high school/ the heat of the music makes you hate yourself.
When I’d walk around the neighborhood barefoot in the summer. I’d wear Emilie’s grainy cardigan sweater, eat green beans from a can, feel “healthy.”
When I swam 50 free and I’d try to imagine my boyfriend at the other end of the pool. But not just my boyfriend, not my actual boyfriend.
The idea of having something tragic to live for/ something to swim for.
When Laura said you burn six calories a minute from dancing rigorously so we tried it in my bedroom/ decades of it not occurring to me that my brain was part of my body.
Fields and fields of dandelions and flasks filled with Peachtree and my brain was a part of my body.
My mom tells me I’m so lucky I have a flat tummy. But I don’t have a flat tummy anymore.
It’s round like a pink-haired troll doll, like the ones I lined up on my windowsill
when I was a “girl” when I was a “cutter” when I was “lucky.”
I haven’t read any books about cutting though sometimes late at night I google books about cutting.
I read online that many cutters find they can achieve the same rush of endorphins from running or other rigorous exercise.
I read that to Michael and he found it laughable/ I felt like I should have been laughing.
Like life should be funny.
Like life could’ve been funny.
Like if anyone had ever told me.
Like “exercise” can save your life.
Things that saved my life: Hole, Ani, Tori. Not the hole that I cut in my arm or the one in my jeans or the ozone like I was a planet.
“I hurt myself today/ to see if I still feel”
but I always thought that was putting it really tritely.
My Holly Golightly Barbie Doll but ironically, but beautifully.
The “writing graffiti on your body.” The “pieces of me you’ve never seen.”
The absence of exercise. Like what, so what it’s the absence of exercise.
Sylvia Plath on the elliptical.
Kurt Cobain on the elliptical.
Janis Joplin crying in her bed / working full-time.
I never saw feeling as feeling. I never saw poetry as an “exercise.”
That you could do it alone. The “can I run” and the coming. That being in touch with yr body is boring is bloody is cryptic & lonely.
Searching my doc for “a room of one’s own.”
Searching Emily Dickinson’s poems.
Emily Dickinson at the end of the pool/
meeting me at the gym, pushing me in.
Marisa Crawford is the author of the poetry collection The Haunted House (Switchback, 2010), and the chapbook 8th Grade Hippie Chic (Immaculate Disciples, 2013). Her writing has recently appeared in Fanzine, The Hairpin, and Bitch, and is forthcoming in Electric Gurlesque (Saturnalia, 2016) and The &NOW Awards 3: Best Innovative Writing (&NOW, 2015). Marisa is founding editor of the feminist blog WEIRD SISTER, and lives in Brooklyn, NY.