(or, an ode to my fledgling wrinkles)

by Alice Godliman

If I could have been granted eternal youth and beauty:
been forever green like dewdrops on new shoots, like apples from the Norse gods,
like a goddess remembering to include youth when begging for immortality, like a fountain.
Like enchanted consumption – mermaid’s flesh (inadvertently) or vampire blood (freely): 

then there are marks on my face which would never have had a chance – lines born
of frowns and laughter:
creases boldly framing my eyes; furrows etched into my forehead;
dents chiselled between brows –
and a future erased: lines which won’t grow, won’t congregate and multiply, make new friends,
find in each other new matching accessories.

There’s something lonely about this –
that I might lack these outward clues
to who I am, to have nothing of my personality already written –
or fated to be written someday – onto my face.
Lonely – a statue, an unfortunate who stared upon Medusa, a painting, a pillar of salt.
Opaque, untrusting.

Instead: unbitten, unfed, uncharmed:

I get to show people who I am.

Alice Godliman

Alice is a poet, writer, performer and workshop facilitator based in Manchester, who’s performed for International Women’s Day and Reclaim the Night, as well as events around London, Manchester and at the Edinburgh Fringe. You can find more of her work in the anthology Let Me Know When You’re Home, as well as Blood Orange Tarot, Twist in Time Mag, or at @alicegodliman on Twitter or Instagram.

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