you have no idea how far i swam

By | 1 April 2019

I’ve got a long stare, a powdery touch
And enough buckles around my chest
To keep it all in
I’ve got a twitch in my right eye,
A dry cough and something crawling
Under my skin that I can’t name

Yesterday the sky looked green to me
My elbows itched as the rain clouds
Rolled over;
A stampede, then nothing for a long time

Yesterday my phone rang twice
And it sounded like sirens from a cloudy dream
This morning my phone rang once
And it sounded like my mother’s voice
Calling me to dinner

I’ve got sweaty palms and a crooked step
Last week I fell from the mulberry tree
behind my mother’s house
Last night I woke from sleep,
Saw an angry finger digging into my stomach
And felt five years old again

I once threw myself at a passing train
But remembered I could float
Before my body touched hot steel
Behind my eyelids I saw the shape of
My body, crumble
Like burnt toast
And I watched pieces of myself gather in groups
Like gulls flying home

Last month I thought I was a wooden gate
Left to dry and turn gray
And I held myself like that for a long time
Solid and heavy
Solid and heavy

I’ve got limbs that I’ve named;
Claim a thing to own it
I’ve got limbs that I’ve lost and
I’ve named them all “Yesterday”
Last night my mother called my name
And her name rang out
I’m young, I said, and I’m tired today

I’ve got a pain in the centre
Of my spine and it sounds like a screeching bus
When i run
It’s the sound of placing your hurts in
Alphabetical order,
Tieing them with beautiful bows
And expecting the healing to begin

Sometimes it sounds like the mazes
Built wider and more complex
To make the centre of it all
Impossible to get to

Sometimes it sounds like
Protecting your traumas
Because they’re the longest,
Most loyal relationship you’ve ever had.

I’ve got dry eyes and a heavy gut
And they carry me home and
Carry me home.

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