• whitened skin, reddened rag

    and blackened soul

    the blood on her hands is not all her own

    shattered psyche

    the mind breaks to protect the heart

    the outer shell thickens

    rejecting the world

    the stomach grows strong, the spine grows tough

    the eyes grow cold

    tears banished into darkness by the bitter echo

    of mad laughter

    her mind is broken but her heart is safe

    safely locked away

    until someone can break through the spiked shield

    and turn her tender again