The more I try to recall
The less I remember
Was it all made up in my head?
You were the stray thread I pulled to remove
But drew out longer instead.
It was only last spring
We tanned like burnished beets
Under an Indian sun
Now I hold you as you grow
Further in my arms.
You were in my car beside me
The handbrake between our seats
Widened like a gorge
We fell to pieces a thousand times
And a thousand times reformed
Dust motes swirled on your breath
As we unravelled our entwined fibres
There was tyranny in your kindness
If only tenderness was foreign too
Then I could forget how it feels to want you.
Fill your pockets with stone, each pebble
Measuring the exact weight your lungs
Are accustomed to carrying, for
Every breath is an exercise in recycling
ashes of your own internal entropy
Your mother and father’s fractured shadows
Your brother’s calloused hands on your thighs
Murky forms are the only clarity in amorphous
Hours, when you succumb to bitter convolutions
That harden as quivering multitudinous words
Like paroxysms of love that follow their absence.
They catch your breath when all you want is to
Prepare a dinner for your doting husband, but
When you’ve internalised all this external trauma
Even the certainty of his goodness cannot save you.
Virginia learned the hard way
If she cried woolf too many times
Her own mind stops believing. Then
The only one she trusts to carry her weight
Are waters that drown her with applause
So she would not be caught perpetually Between the Acts.
We are protozoa swimming in a soup of confused existence
And my mind is amoebic slush, trying to fit together pieces
Of a jigsaw puzzle that will never fit. This is the only way I
Can make sense of the bedlam, the confusion of bright fluff
Like friendship and love, why their absence sucks out the
Mitochondria from all our cells leaving us in a static, listless
State we label ‘Depression’, ‘Anxiety’, ‘Loneliness’, ‘Insanity’.
But if we are protozoa then we do not have mitochondria or
The ability to produce complex energy. Guided by a nucleus
Of lofty ambitions and delusions of grandeur we phagocytes
Consume others in our path and recycle their essence to make
Ourselves ‘better’. We then leave our legacy on the world by
Binary fission or budding. This is what writers do. Some can
Rapidly reproduce parts of themselves on paper. But for me,
Writing hurts. I am breaking a part of myself into the world
That cares not whether we consume each other or die tomorrow.
In this apathy it is only the sheer willpower to etch my literary
DNA into this soup of chaos that drives my pseudo-appendages
To extend themselves and cast a shadow long enough to be seen.
In this agony I need the impregnation of inspiration to procreate;
The electric and impassioned touch of a literary muse to spark
The tips of my first words and to keep the subsequent flowing.
Maybe asexual reproduction is not the best way to write after all.