Written by Magnificent Mayhem


Sara Crewe in A Little Princess, clutching Emily.

She is a glass doll.
Stunning in the light,
Brittle lashes and lifeless eyes,
Her slick curves, angles, cold to the touch
Until they’ve been greased with prints.

Familiar hands know every line,
Could trace these planes in darkness
Drawing forth memory
Of each previous encounter,
All dalliances with dust and dirt forgotten,
Loved now by someone’s sticky hands.
Wet with sweetness wiped
From the corners of young lips,
The kind of hands that are never clean,
That plainly show where they’ve been.

They leave trails of new care and old saliva,
Over scars feathered so carefully they were surely placed there on purpose,
Perhaps in anger, or simple carelessness
In their blatant disregard of her worth: you are nothing
These cracks scream
To be so easily abused this way.

But fingers damp from moistened mouths feel none of this.
They search eagerly instead for the curve of her shoulder, the dip of her neck,
Reveling in the reflection of ecstasy on her face, recognising an eye or lip,
Claiming it, for now, knowing later she must be relinquished.

And someone will have to wash her of the stains these filthy hands have left,
Before setting her back on display to be picked up again.
She is a glass doll, slowly shattering.

“Residue” is Magnificent Mayhem’s first published piece in Inkblots Magazine. Often writing free verse poetry in her spare time, her inspiration for this particular piece was taken from the similarities between how roughly a child may play with a doll or toy and our tendencies to treat people as property – succumbing to our selfish desires.