I know this is a lie
You tell me I am built internally like the huge
installation that stands in front of us. Held on a
plinth above men, I am positioned within the lines
of the diagram where I see the invisible parts of my
heart and lung and cunt made into a maquette. I will
be several versions of this before I am complete and
when this prototype fails, you tell me it is my fault.
I am not allowed to take photographs, but I can
lean in close to the sculpture to feel it breathe on
I ask you if the sculpture could be made from
concrete and you say no, it could not, and when I
look at it again, I see the mesh underneath and the
knowledge of framework ruins it for me. Like
arteries create geometric breathing, the reality of
what is underneath me becomes catastrophic. I have
loved you for so long.
Wendy Allen’s work has appeared in Poetry Wales, Ambit, The North, Banshee, The Moth and Poetry Ireland Review. Her debut pamphlet, Plastic Tubed Little Bird, will be published in May 2023 with Broken Sleep. She is currently being mentored by Richard Scott and Anthony Anaxagorou as part of her DYCP project funded by ACE, working on a collection based on Barbara Hepworth and the female body. She starts her PhD in Creative Writing in October at Manchester Met.
To discover more content exclusive to our print and digital editions, subscribe here to receive a copy of The London Magazine to your door every two months, while also enjoying full access to our extensive digital archive of essays, literary journalism, fiction and poetry.
Photo by Vojtech Bruzek on Unsplash