Consider her there, structured
gracefully, hardly comfortable,
legs hooked over another, sculpted; toes
pointed – her ballet lessons had
taught her that as a young girl,
head tilted, spine straight. There was
no place for her here, for that youthful
innocence. This was a place without memory,
even her name had been changed,
for her safety, to erase personality, to
Even the slight tilt in her neck was
deliberate, framed exactly for aesthetics sake;
to show her weakness, girl triumphed by
even gravity. It was a game made of
more than passive languor, her toes,
fingers and lips had places, marks to hit;
the voice of a middle school music teacher
clanged in her head to hit her light,
and so she did.
A statue was not emotive enough to describe
the girl, grown woman, who made
herself a covetous prize, beauty
products applied with the steady hand her
sixth year art teacher had given her.
“Every mistake can be corrected,” she had
told her, but that was no longer true, any
mistake here could be deadly, finite.
It began as it always had, slowly at first,
testing the limits, toes in a water whose
depth was unknown. “Lay back and think
of England” her history tutor had once
recited, joking convivially of the beliefs
of past. To the statue, though, this was not
a history, nor could she think of England,
only herself; laid down- even now, back
straight, toes pointed.
After that it was always quick to end,
a shuffle of fabric and the same words of
thanks, awkward silence, cleared throat.
Her flesh, seconds ago so warm, was now
stone again; a statue- composed and still.
Now, though, her face was smudged and
her back was slumped. This was no place for
that girl, that youthful innocence, but
she prevailed; head dipped, a few more cracks
in her stone flesh than before.