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Featured Poem: V1:I3 - Rachel Oates

Broken girls are not romantic:

I am not smudged eyeliner and backcombed hair

I am not a solitary tear on a rainy day,

I am not a glorious hurricane,

I am the destruction left behind by the storm,

unable to repair myself.

I do not smoke a cigarette in the night and sigh,

I slam my head against the wall

Until my neighbours call the police

And I run barefoot into the streets

wild but not free.

I am not a wanderer or a free spirit,

I am lost:

I know my way through these alien roads

But not how to navigate my own mind.

None of this feels like my own;

I have had my mind and body thrust upon me by foreign hands

And I can't settle in these too small metal, mental walls

Pressure rising, skull caving in,

So I slam and slam and slam

Hoping to crack the shell to let the burning inside out

As it bubbles and boils and scars.

Ice seeps into my soles and I shake.

I am not a beautiful project to be completed,

I am unstable, unsolvable, unlovable, lost

and abandoned.

Rachel Oates

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