You who stayed up past midnight
skipping calculus and the conjugation
of Spanish verbs, who cares
you who wore mini skirts and martinis
swaying on high heels
music hammering all surge and scorch
moving partner to partner
until the music stops
and you stumble to a chair
smoke a few flirtatious cigarettes
looking like Calypso luring sailors to her island
(my younger self in fantasy)

You who lived on lettuce leaves and apple slices
obsessed with numbers on a scale
you who focused like an eagle on straight A’s
lashed to a mast of perfection
shunning the siren song of pleasure
and here I stop
scrunching back tears
I see you so
thin, so terribly thin
lying in a hospital bed
under a white sheet
wires hanging
weighing 67
(my younger self in reality)

Claire Scott is an award-winning poet who has received multiple Pushcart Prize nominations. Her work has appeared in the Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, New Ohio Review and Healing Muse among others. Claire is the author of Waiting to be Called and Until I Couldn’t.