like attracts want – want ignites desire
I wake up and my entire life has passed –
I’m old and frail, limbs rigid, my breath appears in small puffs
they’ve already chosen my gravestone, a
chunk of fieldstone – small but quaint
except it bore no engraving, buried with no name

my father promised to teach me how to ride a bike
but back then
I was the girl introduced to Barbie’s dream house
and ordered to marry a Ken

there is this bed
where a boy once asked for my body
I kissed him – and twisted myself around him like a peel
of apple, when I revealed I like girls
he said: it’s okay, I like virgins too

it required arduous speeches, I emerge ruined
from the exploit, polluted cemeteries, hidden by the slopes

when are you less alive than 3 a.m.?
stoically watching a spider swing from its web – I carried
a candle on my shoulder and sang with the choir, dressed
in white silk gowns and prayers
of fake spectacles

you woke up without a face today
at least
you woke up



Jennie Byrne has an MA in Creative Writing. Her work has appeared in Tears in the Fence and datableedzine. She was longlisted for the erbacce poetry prize 2018 and currently works as a Marketing & Content Strategist.