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by Jess Ridley

My first memories of you are painted in watercolor,

How the willow cast a pale green glow on your face,

The paint smudged around your body, a glowing aura the color of your skin.

Your purity shone back then with that aura.

Then you became acrylics;

Dark and concrete.

Less free,

Less pure.

Cold black paint on your lips and hair,

Oil pastel and white chalk made up your once peach-colored skin.

Drawn too quickly by an uncaring artist, an uncaring father.

You stand above me, your cold, unfeeling paint dripping,

Spreading like the black tendrils of a virus.

Right onto me.

Each drop lands like a punch to my face, an attack on my mind.

Acrylic shades of purples and blues blend around my eyes,

The red paint under my lip cracks through the pink pastel.

And when your bone-white hands reach around my neck,

Pastel blue covers my face.

Thick and heavy on my watercolor body.

Until I can’t stand.

You took me by the shoulders,

And dipped me into the acrylics with you.

Jess Ridley is a 21-year-old amateur playwright, poet, and short story writer from Windsor, ON, who has recently started looking for places to publish her work. She loves writing and photography, often combining the two in her work. She has a small but dedicated support circle who gives her the courage and dedication to keep writing, even when she's struggling. Her work focuses on modern social issues, and kindness and morality as a theme, as those are her own personal ideals.

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