Poster Girl

By: Zoe Markoe

View all Zoe Markoe's works

wear me down
malice is growing under my fingernails like dirt and grime, moss between my cuticles.

you, you, you is a constant chant. it’s always you. it’s never not been.
i scratch my scalp, blood mixes with earth and i scream and pull my hair.


it seeps into my blood like the bone marrow in a grandmother’s soup
it’s thick and boiling under my skin

and i envy the girls who can wear their corsets on halloween and show their shoulders
without the wind whispering into their skin through deep, intimate breaths
that something’s sticking out

that you’ll never love them


you kissed my skin as the wind does and breathed into it as it did
and yet i envy the girls, the ones who can stand the mirror, those who can feel they’re enough. 

it seems this year no one feels they’re enough anymore. my pain is lost in a sea of others’.
don’t be selfish, the hands grasping my shoulders tell me.
i am living the best i can live, even when i am at my worst, what is there to truly complain about?

my mirror holds someone distorted
my mirror is foggy like after shower

hurt you, will it?


bleed me out and wear me in,
the pair of new shoes feel you, as you walk in them

feel them, in a month you’ll realize
you bought them for cheap, how much can they really give you?
their all isn’t enough to comfort your hours of walking 

the soles will break in days, and they’ll be tossed out again, right?
this isn’t the first time you’ve bought a pair. it’ll give you blisters. it’ll make your back sore.
take them off

and it’d be too direct to say, i’ve done this before,
to clasp your hands and tell you all the things i’ve been,

the things i’ve been in my reflection and yet, i’ve never felt yours
i’ve never felt yours.

2 thoughts on “Poster Girl”

  1. The imagery is consistent, humble, earthy yet powerful. How can grandmother’s bone marrow be so suggestive? But it is. The poem is a tour de force of self reflection from a poster girl. I love it.


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