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Taboo - Emily Galvin

Today, the most ill-fitting clothes won’t smother the sound of the unspoken word.

Today I’ll shrink.

Sink down, invisible, to the calming leftover of fabric.

My Jumper Fort.

A refuge away from the over-thought, underplayed well wishes.

From careful referencing, topic censoring.

From ‘it which shall not be named’.

An oversized armour; escape from an atmosphere carved open on the edge of a collarbone, exposing the naked underbelly of silence.

From somewhere in my swathes I catch your lowered gazes, as you glance, unrecognising, down at my ever shrinking limbs.

How did such a small thing ever take up such a large space?

Remember, that here in my cavern of cloth, away from the side-eyed glance or the full blown stare.

Under a jagged edge, a jutting form, angles of aggression.

Beneath the prejudice, below the stereotype, and beyond the secret sneer.

I’m still me.

When did I become taboo?


"'Taboo' was inspired by the vivid memory of a time when I was struggling with both depression and a severe eating disorder. I visited a close friend for a coffee and I was incredibly anxious about what she would think of how I looked. So I wore my biggest, baggiest jumper, to hide my shape.

At one point I partially rolled up my sleeves, and we had a moment of skin contact, before we darted away. Our conversation wasn’t the same after. I remember wondering how this issue could have clouded our friendship. I wanted to shrink away, mentally and physically. So I curled up into my safe space - my jumper fort.

Later, my friend would tell me she couldn't speak because she was worried. I had interpreted her silence as me being un-talkable to.

Being taboo

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