Sylvia

Jasmine Pirovic

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Content Warning: Self-harm, Discrimination, Sexual Assault

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You always said that white was good,

white was better than most.

It could be bleached and scrubbed,

never mind the blemish —

existing wholesome like it was before.

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But in your eyes,

my skin is tainted.

A moment’s touch, although expired,

has soiled my pores,

like oil to alabaster.

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Your hands are soap,

your words are water.

You hide me in bubbles,

you wring me dry,

Still, I am discoloured?

Spoiled.

Unfit to wear.

On your arm, the way you once did.

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But where is it? 

The bleach?

“Ah yes,” you sigh.

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Gentle at first, 

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then my chest itches,

my back smoulders.

Blisters engulf me like bubble wrap —

a straitjacket 

of my very own. 

Thank

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          you.