Laura Ingram: A Response to the Return of King's Article "5 Reasons to Date a Girl with an Eating Disorder"

5. She is better in bed.

                She sterilizes herself with Chanel No. 5. Her clavicles bud with bluebells at the brush of your fingers.

                In the time of tuberculosis, when a man wanted to impress a woman, he would learn the language of flowers.

                Most of the perennials were meant for apologies.

                She insists you scrub the dirt from beneath your nail beds before she slides under the sheet.  You didn't know love was something with prerequisites.

                She doesn't have to know you only kiss her pelvic bones for practice. She won't remember the alias for alarm you whisper in her ear.

                When surgical students are training with cadavers, the fat comes off before they open up.

                She will love you and love you until she is empty, behind closed doors and beneath open palms again.

4.  Probably has money of her own                                                       

                She picks up the tab when you take her out for sushi, taps the tines of her fork against her teacup, cleaves her lettuce into crescents while your friends stare, and when she gets up to go to the bathroom, they ask you what is wrong with her and you pretend not to know.

                She comes back to the table, eyes red and whirring as the evening news, leaves a generous tip.

                When you lean down to kiss her goodnight, her mouth has been replaced with a hotline number.

3.  She is fragile and vulnerable.

                Her doctors worry she will fall and break her hip. She worries you will remember she is only ulna and aspartame, and leave her in search of something more solid.

                She never leaves dishes in the sink, but her hair is falling out, and her sweater isn't clean.

2. She will probably cost less money

                Her nightmares are the color of magazines.  She trims diet plans out of Women's Day in hospital waiting rooms, laminates her frontal lobe, cancels her subscription to the cerebellum. You watch her rustle into a backless paper gown, wonder if, as a little girl, she ever sliced supermodels from the pages of her sister's seventeen, snipped off bits of their legs and creased them into chairs at Barbie's kitchen table.

                You take her to a dietitian, a psychiatrist, a holistic healer. The bills grapple with her pill bottles for space on the countertop. 

                She apologizes when men with small eyes and large hands tell you she is dying; they do not.

1. Her Obsession with Her Body will Improve her Overall Appearance

                She knows the reflection she flushes down the toilet is distorted, but she looks smaller here than in any of the mirrors. 

                She stares at herself in the flat side of the spoons when she rinses the silverware, organizes the knives dull-side down, but you still worry that she will hurt herself with a salad fork.  

                She never leaves the house without makeup, always rinses her mouth before cringing from your kiss.

                Date a girl with an eating disorder.  Watch her ghost from the body in your bed to a body in a box.

                All that's left is a life of hospital corners and cereal getting soggy.

                Both of you on your knees.

 

Laura Ingram is a tiny girl with big glasses and bigger ideas. A sophomore student, her poetry and prose have been published in fifty-four literary magazines, among them Juked Literary Journal, Jet Fuel Review, The Album, and Allegro Poetry. Laura's chapbook has recently been published with Desert Willow Press and she has an upcoming middle-grade novel with raven publishing that she penned as a cocksure fifth-grader. Laura loves Harry Potter and Harry Styles. This poem was previously published in Forest for the Trees