you know it isn’t the pictures that hurt.
it’s the second you remember realisation
washing over you like far-flung west coast
squalls: you wouldn’t be one of those girls,
with the highlights in their hair, glowing
auras, faces lacquered with availability.
you sprayed peroxide & lemon juice over
your dark brown curls; brassy, light at last–
streaks to coat with kool-aid rainbows. your
sudden curves a pale burden to wrap in flannel
and someone else’s discarded city lights tee–
five dollars at goodwill is all you needed to disappear.
Kate Garrett was born thirtysomething years ago in southern Ohio, but moved to the UK in 1999. Her work has been published online and in print, most recently in Ariadne’s Thread, and forthcoming in The Emma Press Anthology of Motherhood. She lives in Sheffield, England with her children, cats, and a mountain bike.