Unblessed Girl

Jessica Chan

There are days when a girl returns home

to cry beside her own tombstone,

ribcage rotting with the weight of the moss

she has used to tie herself together.

 

She sees her ghosts,

transparencies and hollow bones,

mirages and looted smiles,

a bruised belly swollen with secrets.

 

She hears her wolves,

howling at the pale balloon of her lungs,

scratching the tender slab of our split hearts,

cutting herself on her own jagged tooth.

 

She smells the smoke rising from the paper she has burnt

to ward off the devils knitted to her skin,

The ashy perfume of demons seared into the

screaming recesses of her hipbones.

 

She tastes the sap of the undergrove,

branches grafted into motionless birds,

Mangled feathers on end, moulting into mouths,

the acrid sourness of cyanide slicing her tongue thin.

 

She hugs her cracked doll closer,

cradling faded porcelain next to her collarbone,

Feeling the shattered shards of last night’s dinner poke blasphemy at her throat.

She holds her knees together and waits for the unblessed day

to be over.

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© Helicon Magazine 2019

University of Bristol