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Jenna Cavanaugh Jan 2016
my friends scoffed at me when i complained about how my weight never gained
it seemed ever-changing
I wasn't trying to brag that i was the skinniest in the room
i was just saying
that I didn't know what it meant because the day before my weight was at a 104 and now it's at a 94 and is that even possible
i stopped eating 1-2 meals a day
and we claimed it on my small stomach but i couldn't figure out how my friends knew that my stomach was small
because i sure didn't
when i said that i hadn't breakfast or lunch yet what i meant was i haven't gotten help yet
people thought they knew how to fix me and so they glued me to my seat and forced me to eat three spoons of potato salad and i shamed myself for a week
I told myself i was weak
i later found out my eating was no longer a choice
or rather, my lack of eating,
because some days i just gave up and took a brownie because I wanted to so badly or maybe I took seven and later that night, things weren't alright because I couldn't go one hour without hiding in the bathroom
because i physically could not, no matter how hard i tried, the dragon named food, was untamable, it would not stay down in the deep cavern of my stomach and my throat began to burn from its fire, every hour when i was woken up from sleep
the dragon suddenly wasn't my only fear
because I really wanted to make those cookies with you or go to the grocery store without having a panic attack
the vending machine became my venting machine
people surround me with the food i can't eat and although I can't eat ribs
i can certainly see my ribs
and my wrist bones
and my hip bones, they feel like glass shards at war with my skin
and my vertebrae and i get it that people are skinnier than me but that doesn't make it okay because i feel like i'm a living x ray
maybe the next day I can eat all three meals because i haven't for four days
and yes sometimes I do feel fat and no i'm not going to finish that
and i cried when my parents said I couldn't have a donut and when my new doctor said i should do a healthier diet she said i should try it and I wanted to so badly but if you look closely in the word diet there's also the word die and it's hard to go on a diet when your whole life is already a plan of when I can
can i eat
but my only constant friend understands and sometimes i'm so scared and I have to hold his hands or rather his handles his name is bucket and he lives at the foot of my bed
and this is a poem is telling you it's not my choice
my food isn't the only thing i can't keep down its also my voice
please stop assuming that the skinny girl wants to be skinny or that she just "forgot" to have her dinner because she must have a terrible memory if she does it every night
it's a really hard fight
but lately things have been going alright
the dragon seems a little less fiery
and i guess it can inspire me
to tell you that just being thin isn't an automatic win
Jenna Cavanaugh Jan 2016
after everything you've done
this is what i'm grateful for
this is my silver lining
or blue lines in a notebook
you are the reason i first put pencil to paper and i'd like to say that i hate you for firmly making me grab the eraser
you make me write symphonies in my head
but sometimes i want to rip them to shreds
when I see you in the audience, the put in my stomach grows
as you listen and you know
but it's not about you
it's about me
because this is the only way that I feel free
and it's scary
because i also love you
for destroying me
and leaving me with a jar of ink
this is my form of expression
to escape from this feeling of depression
i put down every single thought
and i find that you appear a lot
so i transform you into words
and butterflies and chirping birds
and nightmares and the single cloud always hanging over my head
that is you
and when people say
"oh it's creepy that she writes about him"
i think it's only fair
you completely shattered me
and the least i should be able to do is write some poetry
because it's the only time that i can breathe
and maybe all these feelings will leave
and i know that they often grow
but when i transform you on paper
that's when i know
that it's okay to feel this way
i'll hate you and love you
and the only reason for either one
is because you gave me this gift
and sometimes try to take it and run
so i guess what i'm trying to say is that writing about you comes easy
even though getting over this was not
you were not what you seemed
and i hate and love it at the same time
for example, this poem wasn't meant to rhyme
but then all of my thoughts combined and there you were
so yes i write about you
and you can tell all your friends too
this wasn't meant to glorify
it was just trying to simplify
the equation of me
and to do that
i'll use poetry
so i'd like to thank you
for introducing me to me
Jenna Cavanaugh Jan 2016
here i've prepared a couple of jokes
why did the girl cross the road?
because she thought she was being followed home by the boy who threatened her that he would hang her and so she ran five blocks to get away from him
ok here's a better one
why didn't the girl go to the party?
because she was told she was worthless seven times that day and that everyone is secretly laughing at her
here's my last one
what did the cruel middle school boys do when they got bored?
spit on me, push me around, threaten me, spread rumours about me, and more!
wait why aren't you guys laughing?
see, i didn't think that was that funny but then
when i begged for help
they asked if maybe the people who  did that stuff to me were just joking
apparently they were just kidding so they shouldn't be punished
boys will be boys right?
i was probably just too sensitive, too thin skinned to understand their humour,
maybe you guys are too
or maybe i said something that made them say that?
but that makes no sense...
how would you provoke a joke to be told?
oh i know
it wasn't a joke
that's why you're not laughing right?
see daily death threats really don't get five star reviews in the comedy clubs
and i don't think there's been any skits on snl about being spit on because people thought you were garbage
so why did all the adults assume that the boys weren't to blame because they were just messing around?
messing around implies there's a mess and when there's a mess you clean it up but it's hard to clean up a mess that everyone thinks you made up
and I don't think clorox is going to wipe up the feeling that all of the people i trusted the most thought i deserved to be bullied
so i guess what i'm trying to say
is that people shouldn't have to walk through the hallways everyday  knowing that in a few short hours, the boy in their p.e class will tell them that they shouldn't be alive
and when they tell five separate teachers
the teachers will all ask
are you sure they weren't joking
are you sure you didn't deserve it
i'm pretty sure that when he pushed me to the ground i didn't break out laughing afterwards
and their laughter wasn't contagious when they made fun of how i looked
their stand up comedy made me back down
sometimes i hear people say
oh bullying is stupid, how could it actually you
why wouldn't they just tell someone
and here's my answer
have you ever shouted so loud that you lost your voice?
probably shouldn't do that again right
well I screamed so loud that when i lost my voice I never really got it back
it's because you want to learn from your mistakes
learn that when people say that you can always tell someone, you should keep in mind that "always"  is apparently conditional
don't assume that if you were in their shoes you would just tell someone
and everything would be fixed
some situations can't be fixed with a talk to an adult you trust
some situations you actually did nothing to deserve it
some people make the messes and some people can never clean them up
some jokes aren't funny
some jokes aren't jokes
I don't want any more back down comedy
this is my stand up piece but only this time I don't care who's laughing
Jenna Cavanaugh Nov 2015
i have a lot in common with flowers
they're delicate but have some power
if they don't get enough sun, they'll wilt
if i don't get enough sun, i'll need a jilt
a flower is born and a flower will die
for humans, all the same rules apply
their petals are the layers of my personality
but by far the biggest similarity,
people love us
Jenna Cavanaugh Nov 2015
dear fast food companies,
there is no way to forgive
how you hold animals so captive
dollar signs in your eyes
no remorse for animal cries
and the way you changed us too
because when we eat your food
we know what's inside
we know what's on our plate used to have two eyes
we turn our head
they can be dead
there's no fuss
after all, they're not us
but that's where you're not right
when we were kids, we would put up a fight
if we heard that farm animals were eating drugs and couldn't have fresh air
we used to care
but then we were dehumanized
we'd prefer to hear the lies
we even give a cheer
when we hear
two animal lives for a dollar seventy five
it's sad there's no way to stop it
3,712,415 people won't quit
their nice quiet jobs
just because some tree hugging slobs
remind you animals are dying

dear fast food companies,
don't take my money, i want change
Jenna Cavanaugh Nov 2015
that day was only the start
or something bigger
it pulled the trigger
on my head and on my heart
Jenna Cavanaugh Nov 2015
forced to testify for crimes not committed
pushed by many with cheshire cat smiles
the courtroom is a cage with bars of steel memories
no lawyer hired, no amendments required
simply because no one cares anymore
she was her own defense attorney against a world that relentlessly persecuted honest and sensitive souls
the jury full of grey faces that show no mercy
everyone is a judge and your case goes on forever
impartial bailiffs put a gun to your head
until you begin to wish you were dead
what's the point of crying "i didn't do it" to an empty room
so she took a deep breath and for the first time, she let go.

"i plead guilty.
guilty of innocence."
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