Paramnesia

Paramnesia

Close my eyes,

try to let go of the grey,

dream of childhood tempers

scaling six foot wooden fences

because Little Miss Stubborn won’t use the gate.

Return to the known terrors,

to the films I’ve re-lived a thousand times,

find the familiar space

between the back of the shed and the train tracks,

feel the comforting quake as they speed passed,

the false sense of safety

found in running away from my problems.

The Last Word

The Last Word

Lights illuminate this courtroom scene

and I am standing in the central artery,

translucent and immaterial to your reckless steps

as they walk straight through me.

But under oath the words will fail

to accept the lies you hope to spin from your lips;

those spoken but then denied

will testify to the tongue that shaped them

and the mind that orchestrated their sounds to escape

on the exhaled breath,

till all the jury hears is the jumbled letters you have left,

stubbornly scrambled like your sense of morality,

the judge orders a straitjacket to curb your corroding mentality.

And I can feel my mouth running back to me.

Dream Catch Her

Dream Catch Her

“What are men to rocks and mountains?”

The disillusioned know

“we do not suffer by accident”.

So damn these feet, damn unsteadiness

from these damn dreams falling through your damn arms,

I’ll be damned if this is nostalgia,

damn these losses, damn this love so wrong

to love myself through blind corners,

damn laughter, damn sleep,

damn fantasy, damn control,

I want both

I miss it all.

Dream Wrapping

Dream Wrapping

Opening the card, it reads

‘Happy Christmas, love Santa’,

by double figures, means

‘It’s Christmas, from Mum and Dad’,

declining to seventeen’s

‘Christmas. Mum.’

And you were what was left

of pass the parcel,

layers peeled away,

and in all the excitement

of what you could have been

they saw not what you were,

the suspicious package

in a neglected nativity scene.

Left wrapped

to re-use next Christmas,

left wrapped

to keep warm in winter,

to dress the body modest,

or just for a while,

to stabilise the bones

bubble-wrapped in a box marked ‘FRAGILE’

then set alight to smoke,

breathing in the sticky sweet tobacco,

vacuum-packed for a fresher death,

the little matchstick girl

takes her last breath

and wakes up,

wrapped in your arms.

Bluebeard

Bluebeard

I learnt the hard way

about predators,

I, the youngest sister,

oblivious to how easily

I could become prey,

too busy being ‘nice’

in a culture

that doesn’t teach young women

assertion,

so to injured instinct

I did not listen

till slaughtered.

I’m still haunted

by the dark man in my dreams,

you stand at the end of my bed,

constant threat

to skin you never touch.

A wake-up call

to drink this tonic

and remind myself

what I will spend the rest of my life

fighting for,

now an older sister,

for I’m wild and wiser,

and I will not rest

till that key

stops bleeding.