Lullaby (for solo voice)

Holding myself my thumb strokes false reassurances

My fingers linger for a moment over soft bare skin

I breathe in preemptive eyes closing momentarily

It never hurts like you think it’s going to hurt now at any rate

I want to exist in that moment but I barely feel it as it slips by

With sad swift motions less and less hesitant more and more desperate

I tear in again and again

Sometimes I wonder if I am going to stop ?

What if I keep on until every millimetre of me buds with delicate glistening beads ?

It rained earlier and rosaries of moisture cling to the underside of branches

they seep so slowly

I think they have stopped

but in the morning I peel myself away from the bed that is patterned with tiny blooms

Tears fade so quickly that I don’t have time to witness the shame of them

to sink for them

I can never describe it a resolve tinged with guilt

the bottom falling out
it’s like a jolt to the diaphragm

I rest in sighs and close my eyes

The heat of the shower tingles

the run off brassy and burnt
I’ll keep you I’ll cover you I’ll mourn you
When I’m ready I’ll reveal you
When you can no longer tell that the trauma is fresh

So I can brush you off while I secretly want you to see it?

Perhaps I want to see it out there in the world ?

Allow it to be out there in the world ?
So that I can frame myself within it somehow differently
So that it frames my interaction with the world somehow differently
To acknowledge how much the origin


wails and

I don’t expect you to do anything

just to witness and maybe think
or not ? no feel
I don’t know I’m tired

I try to buff the ink from the news print off on my jeans reaching for purchase to stand I wince my skin tight

it breaks open once more under my t-shirt
this time it does hurt out of alignment

the situation one step from my control

Serves me right for thinking I own myself

But at least I am feeling something else

A new and specific pain

One I can pinpoint

One I can address

One I can bathe and dress and take good care of

Like the mother I will never be

difficult to place

i’ve spent the morning shuddering wincing at memories unformed and abstract

just feelings nothing concrete

teetering on the edge of something

anxiety rising

in the awareness of a sensation i am about to fall into

consumed scrambling at the earth it crumbles white and chalky through my fingers

i close my eyes against the soft globules peppering my face.

the railings outside the station steel rounded unthreatening curves

i want to smash my head into them feel my skull cave crunch and slap

at the meat beneath

the shattered fragments tearing in

penetrating with sticky release

the blood wells up it runs between the gaps spills onto the concrete warmth eking out into the grey coolness

the scent of metal


as a child i used to love the cold tingle as i pressed my tongue against the leg of a kitchen chair the tang of metal transferring from object to body body to object discovering my environment with seemingly innocent exploration

Where are your arms?

i pressed myself into you inhaled you

the must from your jacket collar faint sweat permeating layers

rising upwards and out from the line of your neck my face nestled in

happily drawn in i didn’t want to release you/for you to release me you are my stable ground

now part of my heart so far from me.

i didn’t realise it was gone a sudden shock that it wasn’t returning

now there is a gap i can’t fill

why is it so easy to leave me? maybe i know?

i kept expecting to find a sense of home somewhere i could let things finally go

stop constantly worry what everyone thinks of me i want you to find beauty in this

why do i care if you can find it when i can see it? peace i can see it until i question it.

how do you see me?

do you see the raking scars they rose rose, and then abated

the skin no longer stretched expanded and contracted

a relief map no sun can repair

the tide ripples across my stomach my thighs i lift my breasts. my belly flaps of skin they don’t hold their form my body is soft edges

i don’t know where it begins and ends it seems to fill space

taking up room - i resent it for taking up room

could you find a space for it? difficult to place


Your words gently carve channels into my skin

Burning pink as they catch the air

Itchy petty niggling pulled tight

I pick at it, study it like a piece of amber

Is this insect precious? Is this infestation?

But your silence is worse it gapes at me from across the room

I can see you blurry and distant you are in every crevice and not really there at all

Your scent lifts past me and out the door

I press my face into the dry earth and yellowed straw and try to breathe you in again

Hard chunks of grey earth, chips of stone, splinters under my nails

They split and will nourish the dirt until I flay off the top most layer

I know I am not enough, I know that

I know that my heart beats out of rhythm too low inaudible

But it soars too

It skips and springs and lifts my mouth at the corners

It is full and awake and in earnest

And it is yours even though you don’t want it

What is it we share?

It will entrench as dull resentment

It starts at the toes and slowly slithers upwards

My calf muscles twitching tired

I am afraid of hating you

Left to fester and to rot the foul stench of matted black clots

My heart beats low and slow because it is diseased

I push two fingers down my throat and silently gag I got good at that

The vomit slides out without too much fuss

But it is not what I want to purge