Cracks

Juanita de Villiers

my body is not porcelain, but marble

it is cracked and streaked blue and white

transparent skin reveals

veins

wrapping around hips like spindly fingers

my Mother once told me:

You know, your problem is you look about seventeen

then you open your mouth and you’re forty

But I don’t look seventeen

my face is cracked, my body dented and rippled

If you look

carefully

you can see

i am old

The signs are there of a mind that had to grow too quickly

in a body that could not hold it

skin buckled to accommodate me 

I’ve begun to match my mother

cracks and dents put in place by worry resemble dents and cracked bones

left by drunken fists

by legs, by chairs,

which is to say she fell

down our three porch steps and cracked her ribs

so my frown lines sank in at twelve

Juanita de Villiers is a Masters student studying Literature and Modernity at the University of Cape Town. Follow her on Instagram: @hitherejuanita and read more of her work here.