There was the time she posed as a proper person,
up at seven with organised eyes,
spinning the wheel of coffee heart and computer clack,
a life in neat multi-coloured folders.
An alarm went off in her pocket—
and now the world stank of Boots’ perfume and cigarettes
she spoke in fluent Bacardi Breezer
knew every bar in South East London
flew through the day to get to the pub on the other side
until life became a barman that would no longer serve her.
Men with magnet mouths waited for her to exceed her limit
found ways to climb inside.
Now she sits like a stale buttered scone
who nobody wants to pick up or eat
or even look at that way.
She thinks this is delicious and funny at the same time.
she is studying her life through abstract nouns
watching how pretend-friend-people
have the ability to reach inside
to remove the smiley bits
and that is ok
because what they think is her face is see through
what they think of her limbs is hollow
who the real is
behind the dough-dumb skin
the cratered eyes
She can sing because they don’t know
Some people have stories up their noses
about silly women whose heads keep unzipping
whose words fall out and splash about
and what a mess it makes
It irks them
this girl who doesn’t add up
that can use them as a muse
instead of fighting back
They don’t know that over time
what used to tremble becomes percussion
they look on at the wrongness of her one-woman-band
wonder why she can still sing.
Michelle Diaz has been writing poetry since the late 90s. She has been published by Prole, Strix, Amethyst Review, Amaryllis, the ‘Please Hear What I’m not Saying’ Mind anthology and was awarded 3rd prize in the Mere Literary Competition 2017. She has a son with Tourette Syndrome and had a very unusual upbringing—both of which have been huge inspirations for her writing. She lives in the colourful and strange town of Glastonbury. Without poetry her soul would be incredibly hungry.