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.
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
Please sign and help us get rid of this outdated, anachronistic page in the top selling newspaper in Britain. It is 2012; why are we still living in a world where women’s achievements are secondary to their tits? Our homes, our workplaces, our commute to work and our children’s minds should not be full of images which desensitize us to women’s bodies on a daily basis, constantly construing the notion that they are sex objects. I want to see tits. I want to see, pert, saggy, suckled, wrinkled, big or small breasts at the will of any woman who wants to show them. They are her breasts, and she can do what she likes with them. However, I do not want to see them amongst news in a daily newspaper anymore, coupled with a pitifully small box in the corner, applauding her for, my God, actually having an opinion. Kindly and chivalrously giving the little woman the chance to express herself to men at the same time as undressing herself for them does not make it legit, or anti-sexist, or OK.
I do not want this world where women’s body’s are constantly cast in the media as being up for the taking at any given time, in any given place.
Say NO to Page 3
Click the link to sign the petition
Lion and antellope, we brawled as predator and prey.
You were animalistic, I was weightless.
Carnal, instinctoid, this was base; there was nothing more
To drag it into the fiction we write ourselves
to make the act seem less debauched. Unfazed,
By my predatory friend-or-foe, I did not try to run,
Did not play dead, but played the game that nature
Wrote, and acted out my part,
as you devoured me from the inside out.
A fracture so small,
that remains unspoken
Can’t hold forever,
when things are still
- Emma Griffin
In the inky darkness around the bed,
you lit a cigarette next to me, while
I followed the orange glow with dozey eyes.
Kissing me after, with a smoker’s mouth,
somehow, the coppery smoke tasted sweeter on your lips
than on any of the others and we fell into fitfull sleep,
your unknown body molten against mine.
In the morning I left,
strangely smug at my non-achievement,
and walked home in yesterday’s clothes,
in heels that moulded to last night’s blisters.
Unsure of etiquette, sure in my autonomy
I left nothing: no name, no number.
But as I sit here, a part of me is missing -
never too old for naivety, I thought we had
both taken what we wanted in equal parts.
But, as I desperately try to assemble the jigsaw
and piece together the features of your face,
while your far-off foreign accent melts in my mind,
I realise just how wrong I was.
- Emma Griffin
I feel truly sad.
In a fleeting drop into
between nostalgia and memory,
those feelings can touch me,
in their husky forms;
reaching out like they were buried alive,
gasping and grasping
for the air they need
and I mourn for those days
we would lay in bed,
and the light flooding in
through the blinds,
making patterns on our skin,
which I traced with my fingertips.
My head on your chest,
or your head in my lap,
but to be with you.
Because now, when I see you again,
that magic is lost;
evaporated into thin air
as we pass on the stairs,
relegated to the lost-and-not-found
but a wry smile of aknowledgment that,
we once loved,
but we don’t anymore.
And I feel so ‘OK’
that I feel like crying -
almost wish that it hurt like hell,
to legitimise those times we shared,
where I thought I was
I wish it hurt like before,
with my sobs ripping out of my chest,
like snarling, angry teeth
and my body paralysed with a pain
I could never have imagined
at the thought of losing you to another.
But I feel nothing.
I feel truly sad
when I think about what we’ve become.
- Emma Griffin
And now, I will become the girl you never wanted,
to befit the fact that that is what I am.
As my skin cells are cast off,
in their brittle battle with time,
I will change into a girl you never even touched.
My skin will be mine;
it will not recognise your hands,
while life will cast yours in a new form, too.
Our skin, more than merely estranged,
will make us two new beings.
Our eyes will be the only things unchanged
and we will look at each other,
in a fleeting double take,
as others do on the tube, across a room, in the street;
when they know they have met before,
but can’t remember where.
And the moment will pass:
doors will close, trains will move,
fate will move us past each other.
Two strangers, who will never meet.
- Emma Griffin
He was not the beloved, the shiny prize.
He was not the Poincaré, with adoring eyes.
He was not and will not and cannot be
the one for you; you the one for he.
A year of pretence and of cracks painted over.
A year of neglect and of no self disclosure;
played out as a song, that you could not join in.
His hands choked at your throat as you struggled to sing.
He laid down a new route to walk upon,
of sheets and passion, that once seemed so strong.
He tied you in knots with his words and his tongue
But he pulled at the edges, which frayed; came undone.
He talked in figures; you talked in prose.
‘So little,’ he said, as he pulled you in close.
So easy to break, to snap and to steal;
so easy to love and so desperate to feel.
The emptiness fell, with the silence of snow
Subtle in arrival, the hour hard to know
But draw back the curtains, and stark white: its there
It never would thaw in that thick, icy air.
The seasons rolled past and blurred into dreaming.
You walked that bit faster, cut corners to see him,
to avoid the moods that would meet with your stare;
to please and appease, and to meet with his care.
Oedipus Rex would have turned in his grave
To see the affection you lavished and gave
Enduring; unfaltering, like mother to child
but the order was false, the roles were defiled.
So there you sunk, in the bed he had made,
lying alone, while the doubts were replayed.
He slipped you the key, and you locked yourself in
You came out for air, but it sucked you back in
You forgot your language, lost your self, somehow.
So you counted instead, because he taught you how.
You counted those numbers on packets instead
and totted them up everyday in your head
The numbers mutated and changed, as it grew.
By the end they spelled out a new word, just for you:
CONTROL read the cupboards, the fridge and the plates,
the scales and the measure you wrapped round your waist.
With this you’d be happy, with this, he’d be kind
With this was the future you wanted to find.
But numbers are fragile, dividing and changing
It’s words that are steadfast, forever remaining
They alter the memories with reason and logic
They re write the story: not blissful, not tragic.
Yes; numbers are something you won’t understand
But words lay the power right back in your hand.
The opened diary taunts with its huge plethora of memories you can never quite grasp at again. From the darkened alleys of your mind come flooding back, into the hazy light, the feelings of those days when you didn’t know how a person can ache all over but show no bruises, and you lived the pessimism devoid life that everyone who’s crossed over that invisible barrier between youth and knowing wants to lead, but will never find again. You feel bathed in a sub standard glow from the memories and small flecks of those days, that can never quite create the whole picture; make it tangible, real. In those moments it’s always summer; streaks of sun break through, even when the rain pours. But it isn’t there. The soft ripples break and then slow; stand still. You cannot fall back into that lake of yesterday; the water has got colder.
And now it’s ice.
And so the old melancholy creeps back. Like mourning the death of a loved one, you mourn for that girlish naivety, the ignorance of young love. The hopeful person you once were is locked away, contained in those pages. They will never come back to you again; the bumps and bruises of today are chains holding them in the past. And no matter how hard you close your eyes, the image of those moments never stays and that girlish excitement never does fully return.
I feel so much guilt for trying to conjure up those euphoric feelings. Those rare, opiate breaths of first love. Tragic that the memory of hurt stays true far longer than the memory of being loved. The villain who hurt us outstays their welcome, while the one who loves unconditionally flies from consciousness, the minute the other arrives.
Flash of flesh,
glimpse of bone;
there, gone, hidden.
intermingled with blue-spilled vein
(only they are sure of their direction),
Clutched at by desperate fingers.
Pinched like putty,
cajoled like clay.
Then it wends the other way,
betraying shape and form.
Path lab; butchers.
Slabs of meat on
Lay me down akin to death
Peel away with quick precision:
show me bone.
- Emma Griffin