after Marc Quinn
It started with her eyes: a gold star
in the amber iris, the last year of primary.
Nobody noticed but her Gran
who told her she’d go far.
Next were the hairs on her forearm,
fine gold wire you could twist in your fingers,
snap off, fashion into tiny goblets, nose studs.
The others noticed then, grew jealous
of her burnished skin, glowy limbs,
the open mouths of men in the street,
the way she failed to react to cat-calls,
a lighter flicked up her back. She left
school early, got valued by professionals
high in glittering offices. She strutted,
and spun, scattering light like a disco ball,
they gaped at her gleam from billboards,
catwalks, in sneakers and ball gowns,
lit from within. She wouldn’t get out of bed
for a fortune, rubbed dust from her nose,
poured her self into bullion skin.
But along came Platinum, Ruby
and Jet, each more dazzling than the next.
Our girl grew brittle, finger-marked, thin.
We never forgot her, cast her
in pure gold, Midas-eyed, inert
on a pedestal in the British Museum.
Sarah Westcott’s debut pamphlet Inklings (flipped eye) was the PBS
pamphlet choice for Winter 2013. She has had work published in The Best
British Poetry 2014, The Poetry Review and on beer mats.
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