I Call Him Devastation by Michael Russell

I have given my eating disorder a name—
Devastation seems to fit like a pair of brass knuckles.

With him, my body is a fleshed-out punching bag.
He buries his knuckles

like a tick in the meat rack of my ribs
then sends me cake and flowers.

Who sends cake and flowers after they’ve beaten you
black, blue—magenta? In an attempt to woo me

I get rewarded if I don’t eat
but punishment is inevitable—

I always eat and eat and eat and eat.
Sometimes, to soften the blow, I imagine I’m a mother bird

and the toilet is my hatchling.
As I regurgitate my food I picture it as an act

of nourishment instead of waste.
I call him Devastation

for a reason: he breaks me
like a plate

then glues me back together
for the fun of it,

until I’m almost
good as new.


Michael Russell is a 26 year old queer poet who is working on his first chapbook. He lives in Toronto. In his spare time he likes to read and write and participate in random nonsense. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming in cahoodaloodaling, The Maynard, (parenthetical), The Quilliad, untethered and QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology.