How to live like a glass maiden

By | 15 September 2022

As a child I am not permitted in the good room
No small feet on the carpet
No touching
Ushered away from glass ornaments
My favourite, a flawless glass maiden
Shows me what is valuable, out of reach

At sixteen I think that if I can’t be hot I may as well die
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How to live

At work I am
How to fake it until you forget how you actually feel
How to fall in public to elicit the least amount of laughter
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The radio tells me what I must like, it offers me prepaid funerals as a good idea
I grow old, I grow old, I shall wear the bottom of my trousers—
I am no vampire, I have not drunk from the fountain
I crumble, I crack at edges
My skin breaks
I stretch and frail

I have forgotten the shapes my body can make without a chair or a screen
I am over-stimulated
My attention drawn to the digital, the pixel, the moment of urgency
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My body is changeable, I am no glass maiden
Created in the furnace, poured into her forever form
If she falls, she shatters, if she is thrown, she cannot fly
You dust gatherer, you perfect fraud
Locked in the good room
Without affection, cold

And you?
Are you happy, did you get what you wanted?
Are you all that you wished for?
Are you a shape that can be poured?
Who catches you if you fall?

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