Poem ~ Gasoline Rainbows

I used to see the world through

Rose-tinted glasses

A lens the colour of a fading sky made my perception

But one day my glasses fell and

smashed around me like mother’s china.

The world was stripped of fairytale wonder.

I was made into what stands before you now –

A consumer who cannot separate herself from a commodity

who scans magazines to justify her existence.

Glossy images celebrate the hollowed stomach

The outward jut of the hipbones

The hallowed ribcage that sings when

Your fingers run over them

Like the keys of a xylophone.

Harmonising, glamourising pain.

Headlining self-deprivation

Because starvation sells.

I no longer see myself for what I am

But for what I am told I must be.

I must be perfect.

So every day I stand on the scales of justice.

I am captive to a mirror

Whose regurgitated image is bloated.

I am coated

In my shame

My own name leaves a bitter taste on my tongue

And still you thread my veins

through a needle’s eye

                                           And stitch your doctrine onto my brain

Until I am nothing more than a

A mass-produced, self-induced

Effigy of pain.

And it’s terrifying that I

crave paper-thin skin more

Than the sweetness of food.

Is this what I have become?

Is my worth measured by

The space between my thighs

By the high

I feel when I puke?


Others are disgusted

When they discover I harm myself

Create tracks across my arms myself

 As if pain should be a poison

 injected only by society’s syringe.

They suck confidence from others like

A baby suckles at its mother’s breast.

And I wonder how something so precious

Can become something so vacuous?


Surely I am allowed to be beautiful?

I am beautiful because I am imperfect.

Because an oilspill

In the clearest water

Still creates a gasoline rainbow.


We take and we take

Until all that is left is a bankrupt soul.

An overdrawn account of misery.


I know the price of being flawless.




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