• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 03


even in our fiercest rage
my mother and I were
tender – we stayed and
fought because we could
not be disloyal, always the
same cause: the dress laid
out on my bed, the heels
when my father returned
he would find the two of
us meek, pretending no
calamity had ever struck
afterwards I would dream
something strange: once,
the dream involved a girl
standing at the sea’s edge,
waiting for a miracle in the
shape of a lone blue whale
all I remember of the rest
is that we were saved, and
I awoke feeling as if I could
continue to live in this body



years later a wise friend
said to me: the first thing
we survive is our parents
should not be this hard
finding some clothes in
which to face the world
my partner is unfailingly
kind, suggests whether
I’m scared of realising
just how beautiful I am
I know what she means by
beauty is not the same thing
as my mother pleading for
me to throw away that shirt /
those shoes eventually I did
the one sensible thing: I left
my therapist knowing that
I needed a different mirror
someone who isn’t what my
mother would call beautiful