Attraction by Lauren Elizabeth Taylor

They walk around her like tourists.
A beauty so rare, foreign to all,
reclaimed by strangers.
She smiles for their unblinking eyes.
Film exposed, the impression pale,
locked inside their minds.
It is a confidence undocumented.
No museum holds her frame,
no database has her name.
Perfection, lingers on my lips.
Stopping tracks, taking breaths,
melting stone-cold hearts.
I want to be her.

Her lips, her cheeks, her hair
comprise every colour of the spectrum,
pour awe down throats like honey,
rouse dust in the depths of empty ribcages.
Deserving of a spotlight, God must have
made the sun just for her. She stands,
a silhouette amongst shadows.
She is so much, so much so
that she may be an illusion, a dream,
a fever high fantasy.

Attraction. I am a tourist too.
No, I cannot think that way.
‘You want me,’ her caption reads.
‘No. I want to be you.’
I want to be you.
I want to be you. The words are as
preprogrammed as breathing,
but they burn my throat. I know.
Give my heart the beating it deserves.
Curves and contours stain my eyelids,
beauty bleeds outside the lines,
her memory will outlive clarity.
I am a tourist longing to find a home
in the landscape I deny myself visitation.

And as they walk around her, I run away.

Lauren is a queer writer from Derbyshire, England. She is a co-founder and former editor of Derby University’s Writer’s Block magazine and has a Master of Arts in publishing. When she isn’t writing, she plays the piano and watches horror films with her grandparents. Lauren can be found at @lauren_eltaylor on Twitter.

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