Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2011

Extra-ordinary Girl

by Jasmin Shaw

L is the kerosene that sets the stars alight and eclipses the sun.
She entraps me with her snipsnap wrists and hummingbird fingers.
She swallows lionfish and candyfloss because then at least her insides can be beautiful even if her outsides aren't.

L is extra-ordinary's mother and pain's eldest daughter.
She has feral, iridescent royal blues filled with stuttered excuses.
She isn't Queen Cleopatra or Aphrodite.
She's only another adolescent.
She's only a girl.

L is a heart crumbling in my strawberry, branched veins that trail to my palm.
When I recycle my elusive love crumpled in the aphotic abyss concealed (protected) by my decrepit ribcage, she will break no more.
She could become the skeleton of someone extraordinary, but she won't.

L isn't lost, she's just losing.
She needs someone who doesn't deceive her or tell her the truth.
Deceit makes her hipbones rigid and chest frozen while the truth is far too sharp for her frontside brain to confront.

L is irreparable.
The icicle swords on her fingers dig into her clavicles as she vociferates her inner vehemence and pit-low insecurities to the walls and cupboards of her isolated cell.
Sometimes inanimate objects love her more than animate objects:
Animate objects are selectively deaf.

L is a foible.
She is perfection littered with raw-red crossroads, darkened lumps
and an unfortunate proclivity to collapse into a state of utter dependence and anesthesia.
She hides behind chip-toothed smile lines and milky eyes.
She sh-shivers with a glimmer of honesty when I hold her to my sternum and press my lips against her cheekbone.

L is a sage and a hatechild,
a comedienne and a sinner,
a leader and a follower.
She is defined by antagonistic pairs of confusion.

L isn't hopeless, she just lacks hope.

And I couldn't love her more.

Added: 11.01.2011

Judges' comments on this poem


A lot of intensity of feeling; paradox of loving and criticising. I would have likes some name, rather than L; too complex; tries too hard.