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Harm by Jessica Lyon-Wall

*Warning: this poem may contain language or content that is unsuitable for younger readers.*

The devil’s in the details (so they say)
You don’t recall very much, as I recall,
The still and calm,
A skipped lunch…
You watched me grow
With a lazy, guarded eye
Like a cat, with less symmetry.
I cannot invent my face

I cannot invent the yeasty, lipidous layer
That stopped moving long after I did,
Or the brittle shapes
That threw themselves against the window
When gently,
‘you don’t have to do this anymore,’
Would have sufficed.

So, surviving in this rancid bubble,
A mix of chocolate cake and fear,
The days turn into years and I live it
Wholly, fully, completely. Whilst obsequious armies revolve around you-
‘no doubt there are ALWAYS two sides!’
(So they say)
but-

The smell of the greasepaint,
The roar of the crowd,
Is all you can remember.