but I guess it doesn't matter anyway:

by sixteen
you were still gagging on your manicured fingertips,
throwing up parfaits and granola after every calorie splurge.
People were always in a hurry to remind you about that six-year-old's letter, but
who the hell cared?

Santa Claus wasn't going to bring you
that size 0 body or a set of hourglass hips.

You hung up posters of Marilyn and painted your mouth
whore's red. Fuck beautiful: you wanted to be

succulent : luscious : delectable.
And if nobody took you up on it, it didn't matter. Your hand was just as satisfying.

Other nights, you peeled back your fingernails
to make room for the new you. Pain is beauty,
you told people. Beauty is pain.

(And you loved the smell of peroxide.)

And then it hit you: you stopped believing
in Santa Claus. But

it didn't really matter. They lied about him