Personal Statement

by Talia Randall


My teachers tell me I could really

Be Somebody, but instead of filling out

the form they gave me I dangle

my virginity from my window ledge and make

a performance from puffing on the hash

I swiped from dad’s tobacco tin.


The neighbour boys hurry

past my window. They’ve aged

sideways, teens made men by too-soon

babies. I nod down to them, beg for one

of them to shoot me down like they used to

at least that way I’ll know my place but

they’re too busy grabbing nappies and

chips from the closing shop at the edge

of the estate.


The form asks me to explain myself

in 500 words (or less), but I can’t yet figure out

if I’m more scared of being bound to this place or

being bound for someplace else.

And what if I don’t ever want to be somebody,

what if I only ever want to be myself?