Forty three. The sell by date
of my body has expired. Luckily,
I haven’t been left on the shelf.
Someone took me out
of the wrapper a while ago.
There’s been some deterioration
of condition, scuff marks, dents.
My skin no longer acts
like it’s vacuum packed. My teeth
no longer neatly stacked in a row,
or pearly white. But that’s okay,
no one sees behind this demure smile.
The paintwork has faded,
stripped away. Parts of me
are misbehaving, spilling out.
The repair man suggests elastic
and sturdy wiring, corsets
are so out of style (although
they might be coming back).
There’s work to do.
The length of legs and tilt of bum
can be maintained with heels,
a little pain, implants, support pants.
Dress right, hide what you can.
The hair is clearly out of control,
too much frizz. Straighteners
and serum are what’s required,
highlights, a dye job. Thank god,
my permanent makeup is doing
the trick, a couple more layers
of paint, I’ll be brand new, almost.
(Not a collector’s item, not resellable.)
Where are all the older dolls? Their
wild hair, their wisdom eyes, their jiggly
curves and full tums, bracelets jingling,
rouged mouths flung open in laughter?
Lucy Whitehead writes haiku and poetry. Her haiku have been published widely in various international journals and anthologies, and her poetry has appeared in Barren Magazine, Black Bough Poetry, Burning House Press, Mookychick Magazine, and Twist in Time Literary Magazine. Her Twitter handle is @blueirispoetry.