first, the feet. everything methodical,
some chasm between you and the shoes,
a stranger’s hands picking them out of
the closet and pulling them on, tying
up the laces with trembling hands.

that blue shift dress that leaves
your legs bare as a tree in winter,
a hemline that brushes your thighs
with soft and careful touches,
the crinkles at the waist from sitting
in the waiting room, the dress that speaks,
the dress that names you functioning.

the lips, a careful pink—painted over
the cracks. enough to fix the brokenness,
but not red—never red. red says blood,
red says reckless, gaping, raw.
red screams help me.

those hands again, picking at the details.
a silver ring over one skeletal knuckle,
mint green paint coated messily over
every nail—cleaned up afterwards with tissues.
a bracelet on one wrist to draw attention
away from the other. a watch, so he thinks
time is something you manage to measure.

and of course, that pair of gold rimmed
sunglasses, so that later, when you walk
out of the office shaking with sobs, and
the tears start to stream down your face,
nobody will be able to see a thing.

By A. Davida Jane


A. Davida Jane is a poet and aspiring novelist from New Zealand, currently living in London. Find her in an old café somewhere, drinking coffee and daydreaming about Sylvia Plath (or on tumblr, instagram and twitter @adavidajane).

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