With collar bones that glowed beneath pearly skin that only young girls possess, delicate face framed by golden curls falling to the beginning of a bust, Nadya was all at once too aware of her sudden bloom and too naive to fully appreciate what it meant. Gamine and doe like, she walked the earth in a beguiling haze, with skinny legs, yet to be fully formed with the soft, welcoming flesh that womanhood brings. Men fixated on her for a moment too long, catching flashes of Humbert Humbert in shop windows as they hurriedly looked away. Lily white skin of her youth gradually began to glow gold in the sun, defining miniature shoulder blades and hip bones, which nested beneath the delicate tops and shorter skirts she had begun to wear. An asphyxiating fantasy of limbs and bones and eyelashes, beautiful in her awkwardness, she teetered on the brink of something intangible to her; something that so many men yearned to taste again.
Also, a year ago today I broke up with my now ex boyfriend. Can honestly say without a shadow of doubt that it was the best thing that ever happened to me and I have never been as happy as I have been this last year. I’ve become so much closer to so many people, refound all the things that I used to be good at and enjoy doing, and also become better at them. I don’t care whether I have put on 5kg and I don’t care that sometimes I say dumb shit. Because you know what? Life is not about living the way someone else wants you to. It sounds cliché but I genuinely have refound myself. A year ago, I was clueless about what I wanted from life, because I never took the time to sit down and ask what I wanted for me. Now I have made it to the last stage of a process to get my dream job, which I know I wouldn’t have done if I’d stayed with him, and I’m almost through with my degree, while he’s dropped out of uni. Like any recent graduate, my future may be up in the air, but it’s my future, just for me, and that excites me. I am the biggest Bridget Jones in the world: I forget to shave my legs, I eat 2 tubs of Ben and Jerry’s in 36 hours, I sometimes talk to myself. And I can honestly say that right now I would not want a relationship even if it came and danced naked in front of me.
Wrinkled hag, jilted crone; I sit here alone
with dull eyes that stare, as bones creak in this chair.
It was he, it was he: He who did this to me.
Now grubby, grey lace spills all over this place,
from bulbous knees to floor, skimming knuckles which claw
and so desperately clutch at this craved nothing much.
Fermented by torment, detestable garment:
once such pure, lily white, now this odious sight.
Listless hate lines my gut, starved collar bones jut.
Will anyone stoop, graze my lips, resolute -
earnest in the flush of a youthful crush?
No one now; no one then; no one ever again.
None will gently curl locks that fall and unfurl;
this dry brittle hair would snap under such care
and these thin flaking lips are neglected by Kiss,
only fit to moan in this place I call home.
Desires left, maligned, a banquet undined;
its consumption forbade by the one left, betrayed.
Hanging cobwebs descending in this Hell, never ending
brush my arms and my face, atrophied and disgraced.
I keep captive here, as months turn to years
but this room is no solace. No, starved and sexless,
I sink here as stone with the life love postponed,
kept barely afloat by this last desperate hope.
Resplendent, fair Star, gazed upon from afar,
chaste, confederate child - unmarked, undefiled.
Feather light, youth’s delight, while I suffer this plight,
she must remain headstrong, immune her whole life long
to this pointless abhorrence (they call love, I call grievance.)
She must never give in to that first deadly sin
for with great expectation comes most devastation.
Untried prisoner here, I must do my time;
to love too much my only crime.
- Emma Griffin