In my youth I had so much time
Endless celluloid, press start to play
Record the quotidian day to day
If it recorded a pain; a loss
I could simply fastforward; completely engrossed
In moving away from humdrum distress, but
I did not know VCR tapes could find
Chinks in the recesses of my mind
To play motley pains and losses on repeat:
Stuck on you, and others like you
As if you were a reliquary; a shrine
A monument to all lost loves in life.
In my old age I know I will find
A screen of static fuzz, as
Oblivion erases my mind
But this I know to the very last day
I will still hear you calling beyond the grave
A nocturnal whisper; a ceaseless chime, Singing
O love – rewind, rewind
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.
Sometime in the last decade, I gave birth to this island.
Vaguely Hebridean, relentlessly aloof
Erupting from the travails of a mangled spirit
Thirty thousand miles from any other land —
A subterranean volcano spilling its guts
To a primordial ocean that cares not
Whether its passion bleeds or ossifies.
Marooned sailors struggled on my barren shores
Only to wither from exposure and hunger, for
If I could sustain life, my own would not be
A carrion of bleached bones and rigor mortis
Already picked clean by ravenous seabirds.
If you ask for a map of my unchartered terrain
You will only find the nocturnal ramblings of a madman
He is lost in convoluted obsidian caves, eyes glazed over;
Years of wandering the omnipresent dark taught him:
The only solace in life is the embrace of one’s own arms.
I am unanchored, my spine floats from my nerves
It juts out as a crooked mountain range from North
To South, mapping the constellations of my rivers
Frothing with the crimson promise of life and love, only to
Pool in a mooncrested bay near the bottom of my heart.
There you will find the Blue Elm Tree:
Maybe I am the girl who lies in the water
Maybe I am the man waiting in the nook
I would tell you, trust me I would
If only I remembered how to (feel).