I’m sending you my eyes
in the mail
so you can borrow this view
express post, air mail
all the mod cons
the postie will dance when she delivers it
with bells round her ankles
and a stupid novelty kilt
my boots are soaked through
rain streaming black down cheeks
I either can’t feel my face or
I’m feeling it for the first time
cold knees creak along the footpaths
there are runners everywhere
breaking up the dark with mechanical breaths
chest crushed like sponge
words can cripple you
with the press of letters
inside this little pigeon chest
swarming and kicking
knocking at the hollows
I wear this shirt like a second skin
the imprint of another body
pressed onto mine in this fabric
hanging loose like a pelt
moulding to me
languid and spent
somewhere there is a woman
who has climbed the tallest building
who has peeled her fingers back
from her eyes
who has breathed the clouds that settle
around the turrets like halos
and looked down at this city
and owned it
this is a woman with wings
she doesn’t miss people
she is not limbless
she doesn’t get catatonic
she just kicks ass
A spider bit me today. Wandered onto my upper arm and left me with an extra elbow, a grumbly red mountain topped with a crusted cap of lymph. I chinese burned myself in an attempt to see the site. I remembered a time years ago, waking from a skittering dream in a haze of dizzy confusion, my fingers chasing itches into consciousness. Through my bleariness, I took stock and evaluated that there were three fundamental truths in the world:
1. I had been bitten by a spider.
2. I was going to die (I knew this unequivocally).
3. I was quite tired.
Despite the pressing nature of points 1 and 2, they couldn’t quite override point 3, and so, with a sort of valiantly disinterested sense of duty, I stumbled to my computer and wrote a brief note explaining the situation. I pointed out the location of the bites in order to speed the autopsy process, wrote a generic imperative demanding that everyone I knew live their lives in a fulfilling sort of way, instructed that everyone was to be told that I loved them, even if I probably didn’t and finally made it entirely clear that nobody (nobody!) was to even think of making a play about me in order to process my death. And then I tumbled back to bed. The next morning I woke up, briefly marvelled at the fact that I hadn’t expired, and went about my day.
Tonight, in the doorway of a strange new home, my housemate stood silhouetted in the sultry dusk and pointed at where the golden orb weavers had laced the house in webs. I imagined my skin rumbling like a volcano, erupting in a chaos of fine gold silk to wrap the walls until the building was tea cosied in a glittering shroud. Thought, I will pave the streets with golden carpets and swaddle the schoolchildren in blankets as flaxen as their hair. I will spin ropes for royalty and sew satin pillows for the coffins of kings.
And then we locked the door, and took our leave, and I scratched with secret pride the itch on my arm.