what began as year-long challenge has become perpetual until further notice
There were three
far enough away to be spared detail
close enough to keep me looking
to hear and hear
to have those notes
quavers prickle, lap, slide
like a boat splinter
under the reddening edges of me
they sang through the wood and the ropes
and I feared
that even the beeswax in the boys’ ears
might turn to honey
one, she said,
this is you:
in my mind she stood in my kitchen
she was Penelope
as I knew she would never be again
she’d caught a moth between
a clear jar and the window
I watched it flap unpanicked but urgent
she turned the jar, open end out
with freedom just over the shoulder
the moth battered itself
only understanding light and form
till the dust on its wings fell away
this was me, tied outside of the jar
that voice flush against my eardrums
rope and flesh
vein, fibre played at oneness
till tired wings glassed gouges on parts of my skull
that still itch at night
leave ropeburns like lovebites
sand on my pillow
the boy – a man, now –
growls in his sleep
curled into the tree-side of our bed
kicks as though swimming
and that song trails
tails off, ends with a shrug
like it was nothing
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se non sarò serena, mi rasserenerò
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