paper doll (n.)

paper doll (n.)

by Amanda Buck


 a piece of paper cut or folded into the shape of a human being.


What surprised me most was the feel of it

—how unceremonious, it could have been

an arm or a leg. I had never had the power

until it was bestowed upon me blandly

in someone else’s bed, house, sheets:

they would know all my secrets before I

mastered them myself. What did I know

of yes?


This isn’t how our mothers wished

it for us, paper dolls, drawn and easily

ripped. Yet, they were the ones that dressed

us and gave us expressions for encounters such

as these.


I was always so eager to please, erase.


I liked the way you positioned me like a mannequin

—that you had a plan for each limb. It’s true,

I took the tights off myself and kissed

what I wanted to kiss. I suppose

I was destined to love you because you said my

name and didn’t know the panicked child I’d been.


Amanda Buck is an evocative, collaborative, and brave writer in the Greater Philadelphia Community with a passion for education and the arts. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers University-Camden where she received Thesis with Distinction Honors, and a BA in English and Theatre Arts from the University of South Florida. During her time at Rutgers, she served as President for the MFA Student Organization and Co-Chair of the 2014-2015 Rutgers Student Reading Series. Her writing can be seen or is forthcoming in Four Ties Lit Review, Wordpool Press, The Bleeding Lion, and more. Currently, Amanda is Artistic Director of Chasing Windmills, an eclectic bi-monthly creative reading series that promotes community while showcasing local artists in Philadelphia community. In addition to her work as a writer, Amanda has performed both on and off stage in over 100 full-length plays and musicals. For more information, please visit or follow her on twitter @chasingwindmil4

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