It’s like you have always been there,
tucked away in an inside pocket
of the back of my mind,
a fidget item for these hands to find
when my head disconnects,
under anaesthetic from the neck down
though I’d have rather felt the burning sensation
from your quick disintegration,
the pain as you were wiped away.
Now a small dressing covers all that remains
of how you stuck to my skin.
Nurture wins the genetics debate
for I won’t miss your DNA,
my colours never ran in the family.
It’s a choice I will make a thousand times
every day afresh, the pull and push,
can I turn to the care
to the love that is staring back?
You are free to leave
find another pulse to crave your heartbeat
but I did not brave World War Three
for an amputation, aborting possibilities
from the spirit glowing inside of me.
Let me treat you to a lifetime
of the softest words, sprinkled over skin,
I will patiently saturate each layer,
wait here till every drop soaks in.
The science says these shaking nerves
will spur on acts on triumph, that this pen
can script a new response to terror, defreeze fear
and bring this body back from outer space
to home, but what will remain, besides bricks,
when ransacked is the only place I’ve known?
You can take my time, tie it to the bed. Spread apart the seconds and divide the minutes into drawn out mouths and slow talk.
You can have me because here I am free. I can flower or I can plant myself in dirt but you always leave out a teaspoon of sugar water. Like a glass of milk and a mince pie for Father Christmas and never forgetting the carrot for Rudolph. You always believe in me.
You brought me pancakes in bed and it meant something.
I read you like a slow digestion, savoured and not greedy, burning off the excess punctuation.
(I don’t care about bad spellings, just give me the words.)
Your devotion on my black tar days; the non-linear nature of all things when done right.
What we expect is only adventure.
Start with a warm up, stretch out the stiff muscles and weary heart. It’s been a long week. It’s always been a long week and I move with this extra weight carried across my neck. Find a space and plan on staying there, stuck to the solid ground where comfort festers in a steady sway.
The music shifts up a pace and Aretha Franklin plays. She speaks to me, sings into my ear in sisterly love. “Give yourself a little respect”, she says, “try just a little bit.” I take a small step, so used to clumsy connection to the source, but step after step and soles of the feet slowly change into palms, finding how it feels to be open to the floor, to flow, passing through the body’s forgotten places, forging paths for them to take part, sense their being alive.
Called to partner with another awakened soul, I follow their footing and think that I’ll figure the rest out later.
We learn to accept ourselves with the light touch of piano keys, each note a kiss on the lips and I learn to linger with kindness in the parting lullaby. A pattern emerges of being lost and found and then lost again and again, the dance of pleasure that folds into pain then folds into passion. Stamping a mark on the surface of the earth with a scream of ‘I am here’. Welcome body, welcome breath; let me love you into abundance.
I woke this morning in parts,
making coffee with crossed wires
and crying coconut milk.
Washed my body in two minds;
one mine, one a critical mother,
blood weeping from cracks in her breast bone.
A broken mirror watches
as clothes are chosen with baggy fit for comfort,
pulled on with careful movements,
for the world cannot know
of the war I wear in my chest
when I am missing whole pieces of woman.
One day at a time, this torrid lava
will either explode or lie dormant, a choice
between third-degree burns or destroying the landscape,
painting scar tissue in brush strokes
because I’d rather save the planet.