the prisoner’s pageant

by Lucy Thynne

a troop of starving goddesses
march,
some of star-drunk skin and
some of chewed leather, as you
watch through a
camera lens, your eyes of
nitrate film. you try to
breathe

through plastic-bag lungs
and watch
your already-broken- heart
break
under the cake-stand
society, where you sit
creamed
preened
esteemed
but somehow never at the
top. you

wonder if photos can
ever capture the
internal bleed, the hunger strikes
that will turn
to disorders, the
prisoner’s parade to
the modern
beauty pageant, which
husbands will
drink
in their morning cup of tea.

do not be a cheerleader to
the patriarchy football match,
do not be starved in both ways. do
not stub out your vote in
ashtrays of
ignorance,
do not be hung out on the washing
line. your vote is on the

endangered species
list, because
they cannot see that
you were cut
out for their hearts to
beat, they cannot
draw a perfect circle
while blind.

you click the shutter and
catch
your knuckles,
bloodless wet
stones
in metal cuffs
as you move across
veined cobbles.