• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 02
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It’s faraway, this freedom

I halfway see the end of every day, when sudden,
empty of the throngs that busy criss-crossed through
the selling hours the aisles lay, quiet as dawn roads.
Beyond the doors, I halfway see the people leave,
swing open, swing shut, one gone, three gone, ten gone,
all gone. I halfway see this freedom they have to come
and go, wander through gaudy islands of hanging gowns,

waiting to be made bulbous by body and breath.
I halfway see them, judging necklines, plucking buttons,
sighing at lace. Some laugh. Some stare ahead. Some shout.
Buy little, or lots. None of them sense how much
I am wishing to wave. I have skin like the shell
of an egg – chalky, a little nubby to touch. Crackable.
Unlike the egg I am empty – there is no promise within.

Just hollowed gloom. I halfway see for my eyes
are only different shades of paint – they must store
what they can in the corners of my sinkhole mind.
I will never know what lives beyond the other side
of my head. I would ask but my throat holds no sound –
I have no lungs, no flexible mouth. No heart to break,
no veins, no blood. I would filthy my colour with tears

if only I had been blessed with ducts. When the last person
leaves and moonlight mildly seeps across the marbled floor,
when electric adds its relentless fuzz to the stilled night –
when the air sings with a mannequin’s silent prayer
I will remain, face forever tilted, chin fixed firm beneath
my plastic pout. Tomorrow, someone will change my dress.
When it's done, I will still feel the sweat from their hands.