“For Scale” by Daune O’Brien

My mother says
life is good
she is happy
down six
maybe seven
—- no, eight pounds
since catching up
to her too-thin sister
who is losing weight to chemo
fast
and I want to say something
but I don’t
stop kneading the folds in my belly
until the call ends
with her saying after all
none of this is here nor there
I go past the mirror
on the way to the kitchen
hungry for anything
that is not clean
but I don’t count.


Daune O’Brien (she/her) is a writer and teacher who lives in Maryland. Her research and writing centers on disability justice and mental health advocacy. @dauneobrien

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