Love concrete

by Heather Blakey

      It was never that weird

she swears

 

Every morning she walked past the mural,

the painter gradually drew the woman out of the wall;

they weren’t creating her 

the woman had always been there

the artist was just pulling away the veil

It felt violent to stop moving in the sea of bodies 

but the girl couldn’t resist

arrested by the woman

gradually coming to life

 

Just one of her eyes was bigger than the girl’s hands, she realised

if the woman were to step out of the wall

she wouldn’t even be able to hold part of her

The thought made her shiver

and it wasn’t unpleasant

She knew that the woman

was looking right at her

she’d never been looked at like that

by concrete

 

When the mural was finished

she was just beginning

Every morning as she waited for the train

she looked at the woman

and was seen

The woman had waves of blue hair 

she imagined they would blow in the wind

but the hair was solid as stone

It made the girl’s heart race

to watch the elements stopped in their tracks

just like she had been

she was sure she could feel the bristles of a brush

gliding along her skin

 

She started dressing differently

pulling some things tight and other things loose

how she knew it would feel to touch the concrete

and paint the feeling of her tiny lacy body

against the weight of the woman’s chest

She bought flowers

and would stand on the platform

eating the petals

The concrete woman liked that

especially when the girl smiled beneath her lashes

not caring about the bodies swirling around her

 

She visited at night

kneeling before her concrete woman

when the woman said she felt guilty

for only having the appearance of fingers

the girl giggled

and slid her hands under her own skirt

      just keep talking to me

and the concrete woman did

her voice sounded like every woman and none of them at all

rough against the girl’s body

dauntless and beautiful

      I love you

the girl whispered into the night

undone 

 

They found them like that one night

the girl and her concrete woman

The girl pressed her lips against the woman’s chest, her hands into the wall

the concrete woman understood

and as they dragged the girl away she was laughing

they heard a sound that kept them awake at night

clutching onto their locks and crosses

it was like the concrete groaned, snapped, and shifted

like the sound concrete would make

if it could breathe

and the next morning

the concrete woman was gone

 

      It was never that weird

she swears

      you’re just afraid of what you can’t understand

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