SPOTLIGHT: Broken Picture by Kirsty Niven

A Limerick

There once was a girl called, well, me –
same face, same hair, but rather twee.
She met a comic, fell under his spotlight
and the rest was a one-sided fight.
He squished the life out of her like a whoopee.

At first, she thought he seemed like fun
until he turned her story into a pun.
He schemed and had himself a giggle
as he let go of the acme anvil
and broke all her fingers but one.

His love was an elaborate prank,
he depended on dear daddy’s rank.
The evidence went missing
of the bruises he loved kissing.
I’m sorry if this poem is too frank.

Damaged, discussed and distraught;
he achieved more than he ever thought.
This body he hollowed
and everything that followed –
a punch line I never forgot.

Ring Out Wild Bells and Let Him Die

The Earth has lugged through another orbit
and I stare from my dark window, morbid,
looking down upon the rest of this town
and how the colours splashed across the black,
a mocking mosaic in the face of my abyss.
Each firework crack, a trembling fissure
in a future I thought was engraved in gold.
Life faded to grey so subtly, so slowly;
I hadn’t even noticed its dreary descent.
Acclimatised to hollowness, the lonely cell –
a glimpse of freedom, a dip in the fountain of youth.
Eyes brim with sulphur, sorrow stinging
at the realisation, the unbidden resolution –
the sun has set on this chapter.

Women’s Work

Blank tapestry,
waiting to be embroidered.
A barren landscape, grey and cotton,
devoid of all flowers,
wishing to be seeded by my needle,
longing for colour to implant itself.

I prick my finger.
The red spreads and stains,
violent and sickening as unwanted flowers.
Weeks of stitching, wasted.
This blood dyed graveyard,
all that I can weave.

The Beast

I wander lost in the labyrinth of your castle,
groping blindly for the promise of a rose.
I should know I’m only a dark preoccupation,
a forgotten captive in the gutter of your mind.

I only see the monster made beautiful in love,
a pink tinted filter of my own creation.
Charmed and corrupted by the Byronic,
stuck in a loop of Sisyphus seductions.

The ventricles of my flower heart peel away,
Chernobyl flesh that litters these stony floors
until the last petal hangs by a thin thread –
it beats its last sad hiccup in the bell jar.


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