A Critique on the Self-Portrait
I am alone now,
Seven years from the girl
I used to be.
The last clear identity
Known to my shaking heart
In grief, remorsefully trying to hold
My ribcage together with dull,
Near-forgotten promises –
I will be kind, I will be pure –
A world before,
It is colder still, the night’s blanket
Torn and worn-down
But not as deafening as day break,
Not as broken as the sun’s
Tired old light
Which burns and scalds.
Rather she is still and quiet.
That peaceful night seeks not to
Disturb but to resurrect.
As so, like Lazarus I rise
From the smothering of my bed, the confines
Of day and those who watch intently;
Pale eyes will not leave me alone.
I wander through the black streets,
This dome of silence treats me well,
I can breathe
Again. I dance with the shadows,
They see me clearly
Without the fiery pretence.
And I dance and twirl
And breathe my lungs full
Until I must return again
To that world of the living,
Holding my breath.
Tahnee Flaws is a Sydney-based student and writer of fiction and poetry.