I am wrapping Christmas presents
in pretty pink and gold paper,
like the plastic surgeon
I fold old skins from last year’s leftovers,
smooth my hands over creases,
trim off the excess fat
to stitch with vines
of cellotape taut to my shelf.
Over my shoulder
a girl’s lips and ears are missing,
hacked off by a boy of 12.
She looks unfinished,
not deformed or inhuman,
unreadable but for her eyes
big and brown,
her lashes erect
write words her mouth now cannot say.
If I could I’d sprout her lips with texture,
a kiwi’s skin, a feather,
coax them back with a peach’s fur,
or a kiss maybe
to dress them up in a pout of wild colour.
But I wrap boxes here, useless,
separated by pixels, a million miles of skin,
her eyes frozen in Uganda’s civil war,
she queues for a plastic surgeon
with a mouthful of dust.