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©2018 Barren Magazine. An Alt.Lit Introspective.


by Ailey O'Toole

After Wanda Deglane

you were born silent / mouth already zippered / shut, a barbie doll / daughter / all frilly hats and tutus / your mother shaped you / into the girl she wishes she’d been / real-life make believe. you were born / already made in / your mother’s image, no room / for growth but / into / you were born / a life in reverse / no understanding / of choice. you will be / who i couldn’t your mother says / pinning another bow in your hair / you will be / a perfect / girl. your mother / watches from the window / her porcelain daughter running / amok towards her same / mistakes. you are / betrayal, she says / as you body slam / into her histories. you rip out / all the bows / cut your own bangs / pluck out / all your eyelashes. now, / you will never be / beautiful. now, / you never have to be.

Header photograph © Asher.

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