their eyes

i still get uncomfortable
eating around people
unless everyone has food

still remember the eyes
of the boys who shamed me
for doing something

we all must
to survive
it was when i really

started to hate my body
and myself,
when the bullying got out

of control but i felt
as if i could tell no one;
my tears were frequent as

the rain in spring—
ate nothing but zebra cakes and iced tea
until i saw the damage it was doing

to my hair,
but i was still rather guarded
when it came to eating;

remember my mother scolding me
telling me that closet eating was bad
i just don’t like the idea of anyone

seeing me eat
because all i can think of is their eyes
and their obnoxious laughter.


Linda M. Crate’s poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has six published chapbooks: A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press – June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon – January 2014), If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016), My Wings Were Made to Fly (Flutter Press, September 2017), and splintered with terror (Scars Publications, January 2018), More Than Bone Music (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, March 2019), and one micro-chapbook Heaven Instead (Origami Poems Project, May 2018). She is also the author of the novel Phoenix Tears (Czykmate Books, June 2018).

Gunjan Bhardwaj is a 22 year old computer engineering from india who enjoys painting and sketching.