Paper Doll

I am sitting in four inches of cold, grey water and I don’t know what day it is.

It hurts when I move and it hurts when I don’t, and I wish that the tub was full.

I want to hear the overflow slapping the tiled wall

and sloshing over the edges and onto the floor,

but I only hear the sound of police sirens and the sound of the overground train

and, somewhere far away, the sound of rain hitting your face.


It’s hard to believe but my skin looks even more fragile underwater

than it does under the unwelcome gaze of the sun.

Oh, I am still a paper doll. I just don’t belong to anyone anymore.

Paper doll, paper doll, in my little paper home.

The lamination you gave me has worn away in your absence.

The bathwater reaches my core and I wonder how long it will be before

I fall apart or disappear completely down the plughole,

pieces of my insane paper brain diving directly down the drain.


I have proof that I was once your pretty little paper doll,

for I am damaged now, far more damaged than I was before I was yours.

My broken body boasts the most impressive spectrum of bruises,

on top of bruises, on top of older bruises,

from merlot to crocodile to dandelion, all over.

And all of the dirt and the hurt has charred my heart an impossible shade of black –

you know everything turns black when it burns,

and you fully fucking set me on fire

when I had my back turned,

when I wasn’t even looking:

it is a strange thing,

smelling your own demise while it’s busy cooking.


And, you see these? These scars on my body are just careless creases

that were made when you used to fold me up and put me in the pocket

of your favourite jeans or a compartment of your wallet.

You didn’t think about the creases, did you?

About how battered I would become, living on the inside of your jacket,

scrunched up with all your other pretty little receipts,

living among the dirty copper pennies,

getting stabbed by your keys.

No, you didn’t think about your paper doll.

You didn’t think of much at all.

Originally published on Hijacked Amygdala here.

Tell me what you think!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s