Sheila-Na-Gig online


Alison Stone

Alison Stone has published seven full-length collections, Zombies at the Disco (Jacar Press, 2020), Caught in the Myth (NYQ Books, 2019), Dazzle (Jacar Press, 2017), Masterplan, collaborative poems with Eric Greinke (Presa Press, 2018), Ordinary Magic, (NYQ Books, 2016), Dangerous Enough (Presa Press 2014), and They Sing at Midnight, which won the 2003 Many Mountains Moving Poetry Award; as well as three chapbooks. Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, Barrow Street, Poet Lore, and many other journals and anthologies. She has been awarded Poetry’s Frederick Bock Prize and New York Quarterlys Madeline Sadin Award.

Gretel at the Eating Disorder Clinic

Sure, I want the treats you offer—
plump dumplings gilded with fat,
the puffy heaven of a fresh-baked roll,
fudge pudding, dense and creamy-sweet.
Don’t mistake control for lack of appetite.

You write “noncompliant” on my chart, unaware
the rocks I tape into my bra
for weigh-ins are essential.
I have never left that forest.

Always the sugar walls, always the witch
with eyes my father’s shade of brown.
Only my cunning keeps me safe, and if
the price of this protection’s dreams
where hunger rises red and threatening
from my own center, so be it.

Take your therapy and arts & crafts.
I’ll keep my wrist thin as a chicken bone,
a sharp pelvis on which nobody
would want to feast.

%d bloggers like this: