In This Life, I Am A Girl

Artwork by Charli Roper

Illustrative

“A Woman’s Place is Everywhere”

In This Life, I Am A Girl
Inspired by the work of Karen Russell

Written by Julia Johnson

Creative Writing

In another life I am a wolf.
I prowl around on bare knuckles,
bruised like the apples and cheeks I pinch.
I don’t care for wandering, judging looks,
on my teeth, my body hair, my demeanor.
I live for the fight.
I live for the wrestle.
When the struggle is too much for some, I rise.
I howl.
I feel the need to tear down the marble woman
that looks down upon me and my family.
I dig my claws into the earth and dig for what I want.
In this life, I am a girl.

In another life I am a silkworm.
Green thread runs through my veins until black,
black like shudder from swallowed fetus.
I bleed for young girls until my fingers are calloused.
I sit awake at night naively yearning for
white fur,
round-faced like the moon,
teeth,
biting into orange,
and wings,
laced with window-reaching heights.                                                                              In this life, I am a girl.

In another life, I am a vampire.

I sink my teeth into bitter lemon,
and pray for the misses to seek.
My skin is tan and rugged,
like leather, stretched over creaky elbows.
I’m afraid to admit I don’t know how long I’ve been here,
and petrified of the things I’ve done during this time.
I’m a bat, wrinkled like gargoyle,
sinking,
sinking,
sinking as it drops.
I can no longer fly like the dreams of my bloodlust.
In this life, I am a girl.

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