Paper Doll

Sat, 01/20/2018 - 13:15 -- SamAmes

Dear Lover I lost,

I’m a doll crafted from scraps of paper.

I’m small, I’m delicate, and I sit patiently in silence.

I go where the wind blows.

Sometimes it blows a little too hard.


    One day it blew me to your feet.

You reached down from your pedestal and picked me up.

You brushed off the dirt and painted flowers on my white paper dress.

You reddened my lips with the color of cherries.

You named me yours and I was happy.


    Somedays you are the hands that hold me close as if I were an injured porcelain dove.

Somedays you are the hurricane winds that wrinkle my soft paper skin.


    I warn you to tread carefully with me.

Don’t tear me up and toss me in a plastic bin only to be forgotten about.

Don’t crumble me up to see if you can score.

Don’t let your anger forget all the time you spent painting me.

Don’t let your frustrations make you forget that I am fragile.


    Yet, I want you to tread carefully with me for your own sake.

These edges of mine that bend in wind

might pierce your skin like you can tear mine.

Don’t move recklessly around me or you might be the one getting hurt.


    I may be a doll crafted out of useless paper,

but you’re the one that spent the time painting me.

So who here is the one made from sad little emotions?


    Certainly, the paper doll whose own tears would serve to tear her down.

Maybe it’s you as well, my love.

You who cradles the paper doll in your warm embrace as if she is worth saving.

As if those cut and pasted scraps of paper are worth protecting.


    Please, hold me closer.

Hold me gently.


     But then you let go…


     It occurs to me as I sit here alone that I gave you almost all of me.

Everything I was asked to hand over I gave it happily.

You asked if I wanted anything in return. “No, thank you,” I replied,

but really I wish you could have heard me begging “yes”.

Yes give me enough of you so I too can be whole,

so we can be two wholes which is greater than one of us being less.


     I tore off another edge of paper skin.

It shredded off easier than the last and I gave it away with less of a thought.


     I’m not deep because all you see is paper with pretty colors.

I’m not deep because you don’t know me.


      I laugh.


     You never unfolded me.

You never saw my heart made of metal.

You didn’t see it’s jagged and rusted nuts and bolts.

You were blinded by the paper and pretty colors.

I showed you what I thought you wanted to see.

I didn’t want to scare you away,

but I suppose that doesn’t matter now.


       I laugh.


      I was almost ready to show you the ugly rusted and banged up parts of me.


      The parts that break with every cheerfully fake laugh.

The parts that rust with my salty tears that I don’t let out.

The screws that came loose when you said “I believe I had loved you.”


      But I’m a doll made from scraps of paper.

So I paint black thorns over my eyelids

and redden my cheeks with rose dust.

Because if I look like a flower you might pick me.


       I laugh.


       It’s a bitter sound.

More bitter than the last and twice as forced.

I break a little.

You think we should break up.


        “Any thoughts?” You ask.


        Yes. A lot.

“No. I’m too numb.” I say with an expectedly sad smile.

But I feel too much.

I want to say I love you, scars, flaws, wild emotions and all.

But I keep quiet.

You’ve already made up your mind.

You don’t need a paper doll when you can go find one made of plastic.


       This time I cry.


       “I’ll pay you back.” You say.


        I shake my head.

This isn’t the ending we should have.

“It’s okay, really.” I say with the dainty voice of a paper doll.

“You don’t have to.”


         But you insisted.


          These scraps of paper are different than the ones I handed you.

Those torn pieces have long since been thrown away.

These ones are green, stained with greed and envy colored dye.

I shudder at the cold feeling that slips down my spine that reminds me of your fingertips tracing the curve of my back.

But instead of making me happy they make me mad because it’s not you.

It’s paper money.


      I’m a paper doll holding a bundle of paper that I don’t want.

This bundle of green paper is the value of my paper skin as you see it.

I wish I were priceless but I know that I wouldn’t deserve that title.


       If there were a scale with your money on one side and I on the other,

the money would be lower because apparently I’m shallow.


       Yes. I have thoughts.

No, I don’t want to tell you.

The only one I’ll share is that I love you.

That’s all.


      I’m surprised I’m not glass because when you dropped me I shattered.


       You looked at me like you hated everything about me.

That’s okay, if I were you,

I’d hate me too.


       I laugh.


       You looked at me as I would look at myself.

Your eyes burned through me,

hate nearly spilling over to grow thorns over your tongue.

I wanted to cry but then I’d tear.

So I looked away, out the car window.


Find something funny.

Find something funny.


         Nothing was funny.


I laughed.


How cruel is this world to give someone like me,

someone like you.

And even crueler to take you away.


        In that moment I flew out the car window

because you had turned into hurricane winds.

I didn’t want to leave you but you couldn’t take me seriously.

When I landed, I was back in your hands.

But calmly and slowly you crumbled me up

and tossed me on the curb and drove away.


       I try to unwrinkle my worn and torn pale paper skin.

I scowl at the colors that so carefully adorns my white paper dress.

This time I brush of my own dirt.


      Looking in the mirror, I am ashamed of what I am.

A cut and paste paper doll,

decorated with flashy jewelry and pretty shallow colors.


       I hold a marker in my shaky hands.

I draw ‘X’s over my eyes and a smile over my lips.


      It’s crooked. I laugh.



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