Flatten the curve(s)
Damned by the curse of productivity.
An addiction that rules our kind,
And turns our kind into cruel.
We are weapons of mass consumption*
locked and loaded in the war on deviant flesh,
Punishing those who loosen their grip
on the reigns of image conformity
or dare to confess self-love.
In this age of self-destruction and sabotage,
words mutate into untouched plates,
bath’s flood with the tears of imperfection,
and the Contortionist dances in the mirror.
Callous rituals of torture for taking up space
sell standards of self-worth and
dull the fire in the young girl’s eyes.
So I ask you now, reader:
Abandon those who teach you love is conditional,
That your measurements measure your value,
Because you, as you are, right now
An open plan apartment
never yet felt so enclosed,
as from the window I watch existence
begin to rot and decompose.
I shall cultivate a companion,
plant a purpose, sow a reason,
picture proof of productivity
from this sullen indoor season.
Saplings sprout and hope emerges,
progress marks each passing day,
Immersed in endorphins evergreen ,
My perfect potted protégé.
I envy your newfound freedom
I admire the desire to thrive
I now live vicariously through you
For together, we’ll find faith to survive.
An Ode to Normality
A city hangs unhinged as
heavy hearts plunge into hibernation
And static suburbia is reduced to dust.
Eyes reaching through glass
across the wrinkles of a lifeless map,
scanning the horizon for scattered sounds
I seek refuge in the arms of normality,
my long distance lover.
I prithee, unburden me of this blood curdling calm,
This creative infertility,
Mind and body- drained and barren
pays testament to monotony.
Never before has an embrace been existential.
The sacred interactions and missing affections,
The bedside mourning of quicksand hours.
I send postcards to normality,
Adorned with saccharine promises
In the hopes of a safe and fast journey home.
About the Author: Jacqui Hollyhead (she/her) is an English and Media student based in Brighton, UK. She finds comfort, catharsis and a deep sense of purpose in writing and hopes to pursue a career that facilitates this passion. Jacqui has written for UK magazine Local Links and is excited about future opportunities for publication . She hopes her voice is relatable and hopeful in its messages and that readers connect with the themes within.