Zero

by Arielle DeVito


I don’t read magazines,
but they’re impossible to avoid:
airbrushed model after airbrushed model,
offering themselves up with chests as big as basketballs
and waists almost as small around as a dime.

I look in the mirror and wonder,
if I unzipped my very skin, opened myself up,
and pulled out my stomach, my lungs,
pulled out my beating, bleeding heart,
when I zip myself back up,
will it finally be enough?

I look in the mirror, and now I know,
why in tennis, zero is “love”.
Because this world has taught me that I’ll never know love, never be loved,
unless I’m size zero, zero inches around, zero pounds
zero self.

I look at the world, and I see a thousand mirrors
striving towards that very same zero.
That same cinched-tight nothingness
That the strutting catwalk model flaunts,
Even if we kill ourselves trying.

Author Bio: Arielle DeVito is a junior at Hathaway Brown School and plans to study creative writing and linguistics in college. She figure skates, plays the flute, and spends far too much time reading. Her work has been published in The Writer’s Slate and the second edition of Dancing With the Pen!