• i heard you howling
    at two a.m. in the bathroom,
    the rain drowning out
    your dreams.
    i heard you tearing at
    the hollow of your throat.
    you'd think that no one else would be
    as sly as you to know
    you aren't really what you say,
    you're not okay--
    you're not okay.

    you named her anne after
    the mother that never raised you.
    called her your baby,
    but never once did she
    press her tongue against her teeth.
    i saw the song lyrics
    scrawled on the back of your hand
    when you were sound asleep,
    fist in stomach.
    she's got bruises on her neck
    that match up with yours.
    she's got fingers like your daddy;
    about that one i'm sure.

    i read the words that hung
    on the top of your lips.
    i read the in betweens
    the unders and overs
    and the everything i could.
    you took her in the
    bathroom with you last night,
    and i don't remember if
    it was howling that i heard,
    or illicit-sounding screaming.
    she's not what you want her to be.
    she's not--
    she's not.

    and i read in the papers
    yesterday or the day before
    about a girl who weighed
    eighty-three pounds.
    she died on her birthday.
    her fingernails were painted dark
    and she had scars littering her skin.
    she wasn't crazy, baby.
    she was just trying a little
    too hard to fit in.
    and i think, maybe,
    her name had been anne.

    my skin is kinda pale
    and iridescent these days.
    it shimmers between this
    sunset color, and another.
    i can see and name every vein
    in my arm because i've
    counted and seen and swiped
    and cut and scratched
    every single one of them.
    i know you heard me howling
    on the bathroom floor last night,
    eyes wide open, fingers dug deep.
    i know you saw me at two a.m.
    telling all my secrets to the
    bathroom, because the bathroom
    is the only one who knows
    every one of my secrets.

    in fact, her name
    is anne.