Girlhood Calcification

I’d single out your artificial scent on the street

And return to faded memories attached to heavy

Stones, an internalised monolith severed from a churchyard.

I crumbled behind your loud imposing steps and couldn’t find

The roots of my own voice in my throat. You’d cripple everything

Beneath your feet. The life-giving heartbeat of others.


You grew such a thick skin that you forgot what it feels like

To be cold. Your gaze hardened, you tightened everything

Within you. You’re easily seduced into identities that have nothing

To do with you. Portray yourself within a brazen frame, seeking meaning

Without, rejecting the girl you have been, killing her silently, maintaining

Your smile. You’ve turned yourself into a statue that will never grow.


“Henriette Sontag” by Paul Delaroche (1797-1856)

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