Just once I would like to read a poem about a
girl to whom
There is no boy, no murder, no great
There is only her room
the light, the bed. There is only herself.
pictures of isolation
girl in the city, standing in living room, picture sideways, windows shut, bed unmade, air stale, smelling of dust, loneliness pulling the walls apart, an unravelling apartment, cannot text her mother again, picturing the sound of a friendly voice, how it looks, how it fills a room, how it opens all the windows, how it lets the wind in, girl cannot remember exactly, girl thinks if she heard one her ears wouldn’t know how to take it.
girl in the suburbs, standing in the doorway, carpet vacuumed, watching the table, his fork and knife clinking, mouse in her throat, eating her tongue, his hands bigger than the plate, bigger than the room, bigger than her, fear pushing against windows so hard they could give, shattered glass all over the clean carpet, back straight, ramrod, bruise over her ribs, finger marks under her collar, a terrible secret, girl wants her tongue back, girl wants to take it all back, now.
girl in the classroom, sitting in the back, gripping the worksheet, buzz of teenagers in the room, her head a parade of dread, watching words untie themselves on paper, ending as swarm of letters, jumbled, a collection of confusion, knuckles white, willing herself to understand it, to understand anything, to get her hands to stop shaking, stupidity welling in her throat, familiar, the only thing she knows, girl thinks she thinks she should tell someone about this, girl does not know the words.
Caroline Shepherd is a high school student studying at Epsom Girls Grammar. Her work has previously been published in Signals and Re-Draft. She is currently trying to pass economics and not hit her head on low doorways.