I was riper than fire,

swallowed by coal that spat out



I thought they were mine,

my bones to fold

into a clone –

A body with no cracks

I could own.


Her body had no cracks.

An arched back.

where poppied bruises

sang ring-a-ring o’ roses in the cobbles

of her spine.

Shoulders pocketed knotted knees,

nursing crying eyes.

Cackling sorely, ribs drank air to calm

her disguise.


She stood in glass, a ghost;

I stared, imitating her.

Leaving with only her shadow to


It was lighter than petals and filled

the cracks in my wrists –

I almost forgot they were there.


Then I found her in a reflection.

She scowled at my skin,

dripping like milk.

And pricked by strawberry scars.

Her golden hand nipped my

stomach. Numbing

its shrieks silent.

And with her fingers

she dug into my

cheeks. Until they were



You, a ghoul behind my eyes,

you break my heart

as I die.

Be warm with clemency or

release my bones!

I am more beautiful as fire,

than you are as coal.

Words by Natasha Rainy

Art by Elizabeth Corrall