Uncertain who is holding the other
but one of us forgotten, foraging through our home in desperation to remember
what we did not know so cannot name
nor assure this body it is safe.
Blessed are we whose bravery guards the doors and windows
long past signs of danger, so fierce in our defence
it greets each demon as a stranger,
sounding alarms to activate emergency procedures
when the threat is but a spectre
with unfinished business.
Feeble and listless, these spirits will float
amongst the source of their affliction and our sickness
until they find in us a friend.
You can yell at me till spring turns to summer
turned to leaves turning yellow
but still these demons shout louder.
Here arrives as a long winter path paved with ice,
falling facts shatter on impact
across my frozen feet. It’s snowing glass
and their light rays bend blind eyes to a different reality;
one convinced the past is all that’s left of me.
I pinch the sun between two fingers,
beg for the burning present,
just one beam to heat each muscle,
aching to move.
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?
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.
is about eight eight
any less is implosion
so either deny it space
or fill it with hate
on the days
that’s all that makes
up my body.
is the second
or the last weekend in June
or overnight stays
and security gates
staying up late
because you can’t sleep
and bottles of cava
and tops patterned with tartan
and saying no
when unhooking your bra
at the start
you always remember saying no.
is stale sweat on a plate
and peanut butter jam sandwiches
as the first thing you ate
as you try to convince yourself
it wasn’t that bad
it just wasn’t that great
and you wore red underwear
so it must have been fate,
between eight and eight
what a coincidence
that was also your weight
it’s a blur in slow motion
I think that summarises the notion
is apportioning blame
for an act
where we were defamed
and social outcry
when we dare to show rage
and the moral irony
that our supposed lack of fight
got us here in the first place,
put on a pedestal
up in a cage.
is one in five women.
is the rapist.
The world is grey
and I am numb
if not numb
I am drowning
if not drowning
I am suffocating
if not suffocating
I am lost
if not lost
I am found
with a razor in my hand
and an urge to press it down
to reclaim this body found
but if I am not bleeding red
the world is grey
and I am numb.
I can’t control how others hurt me, so I control how I hurt myself.
I can’t control how he comes to me in my sleep, so I control the lack of it.
I can’t control what he put inside my body, so I control what it’s fed.
But I’d rather believe in the good in people.