Cliché

Though I grow,
only so within the parameters of my soul. A prescribed disposition, a certain reflection, I paint it all in grey, with black and white precision.

That is not how I see the world,

How then?

Do we make noise when we sleepwalk

into corners
inches,
inches, confined,

limited. Muted. In that famed song of self.
Brown hair. Hazel eyes. Average height. Build me up.

I always think about the description they’d give me if I went missing. Or got Lost.

Elsewhere. Out of mind. Out of sight.

Out of self.

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Small Worry

I fear that I have always been small, obsessed with taking up as little space as possible.
My shy girl persona threw me into the deep end. High school. Though whatever splash I made, no one noticed. The dramatics of teenagehood extend well into our twenties. Or is the drama only me? My fingers fumbling on keys in stretch for metaphor. Finding the space between experience and present has grown so much the stretch leaves marks on your stomach. The acne scars that occupy my jawline are a constellation of anything but stars and hope. They frame a mouth that kept silent, sealed itself against whispers that slithered in between the pages of whatever novel I was reading. Time heals all wounds except these, and many others you’d find if you looked in the mirror long enough. Rolled tartan skirts above knees, mine brushing shins. Fingers wanting to find her’s. Laced. 3:20 bell. Rings. A headache and cramps and the powdery taste of paracetamol and fear for tomorrow on my tongue. A basketball hitting the pavement. Handball. Her turn. Switch on, and off, but they keep the light on, over you, a surgical lamp, examining, manipulating, updating, live, real-time in a new-world yearbook. Log off. Cousins over for lunch. Things are going well. Tinsel on the tree. A new year calling my name. I reverberate down the halls. Fading out, out, smaller and smaller. Fading white to black to reunion.

Lip Liner

Boots off,
lipstick on,

curling toes, aching soles,

I can’t step right or feel
but I can walk in heels,
and I can give them what they want.

I can give skirts, fluttering round ankles
light toes, pink grace, small wisdom,
I can make, be a girl of palatable tastes
with a hollow chest that curves, thoughtfully echoes words,
gesturing, restrained slim fingertips I’ve washed of dirt.

I can’t speak light or feel,
I’ll wear a smile and heels
and I can give them what they want.