by Rachel Bruce

“Taught from their infancy that beauty is woman’s sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming around its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.” – Mary Wollstonecraft

Bones bones bones,
Hanging from my lips are bones.
Seeing bones, feeling bones,
Hips, ribs and hidden bones,
A ribbed cage.

I wrap tinsel around my bones,
Pretty sparkles, colours.
I highlight the white with shining lights
And pastel powders.
Decoration makes the frame.

I see skeletons on the catwalks,
Draped in shiny jewels,
Crowns adorning their heads,
Wings bursting from their backs.
Bones, bones, you must have bones
To be one of us,
The system-crowned queens of women.

Bones build the throne on which
These skeletons sit.
Bones are worshiped like gods.
Bones push themselves to the front of our eyes
Until our minds are barebones.

Our bodies were not built from the inside out.
We are more than the sum of our rigid parts.
My body is a garden, not a graveyard,
And I am done worshiping the dead.