A few imperative fractions of yourself
have been missing
since the summer in which you turned twelve.

This will attract men of a particular nature
and limited intelligence
who will try and fill in your blanks with their extra pieces
until you are a complete word
of their lower understanding.

They will call you absolve
                               or remedy
                                   or numbing.

When you are a fourteen-year-old child
you begin to feel trapped in
the growing body of a call girl.
This is when you will learn that darkness can carry names
other than twilight and eclipse.

Sometimes these names sound human
and taste like crisis.

At sixteen your dreams consist of your mother
shaking your shoulders
until they crave eruption.
She cries for you long after you have stopped doing it for yourself.

Some mornings when you are alone you hear whispers
from the you that only resides in unframed hotel mirrors.
You are envious of that hallowed being,
who views each one of your lefts as their right.
Shortly after you turn seventeen your reflection begins to fade

and a fear of your newly born curves has grown in it’s place.
A longing for the sharpness of your recent youth has begun to corrupt you.

Only your hands and wrists have stayed the same,
pruned and propped through the loveless labours of an
insincere admirer.

He will call you withered
                              or spent
                                 or imitation.

CARLY GLADSTONE Using a fine-tooth comb and a butcher knife, Carly Gladstone gracefully tears apart the methods in which we default to use in our processes of loss and grief. Her work focuses on giving a voice to juxtaposed questions we dare to ask, but need to hear. 

Her collection of art and writings can be found on