More from ‘The Human Race’

More from The Human Race: ‘In front of a shop window’

Do I like this girl? I’m not sure that I do. She is not a genie in a bottle. She can’t grant me three wishes. She cannot capture my thoughts on paper.

Don’t be fooled by the wide eyes, the bloodless smile or the cartoon head. Her slightly open mouth suggests she knows more than she should. As though she is asking: ‘Do you like butter?’

What rite of passage led to this pain of glass? A spell not a curse was cast.

She is cut-off, weighted down by paper. She is framed by thick, pink parchment. She is heavier than roses, softer than a Cath Kidston print. She is sweetened with saccharine.

Her big blued eyes melt into the shrill of sunlight. Her black hair moults over the window display.

Why should I write her life in this way and not some other?

What is reflected? What echoes of other stories in her smile and eyes?

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