the ache takes its time

and where are you now, love?

nobody knows how to touch me. or where to look for me. my disappearance is so long, so heavy. disappearing as survival, as a test to see who i can come back to, to see who will wait.

there was a spider that i refused to step on. i woke up and it was hovering over my head in the middle of the night. it was coming for my eyes.

mother says, ‘you’re tired because you don’t eat.’ i’m trying mother, to keep the death away from me, to keep it from the house. there are children upstairs. they’re trying to sleep.

what happened?

imbalance in the brain. chemical mix-up. overheating. crossed wires. flame. water in the cables. bad signal.

the friendships, they died. i ruined it all with my own hands.

shake me until all badness leaves. until you’re left with something you can live with.

coming back from sadness. when does it happen and how much have i lost? it’s harder than i imagined.

‘the missing people will do if you decide to leave is heavier than the sadness you carry everyday.’

your body rising from the bathwater, head escaping the water-filled sink, a step back on the train platform, all in slow-motion.

what is it that you want?

defence against my own body, against my mind. something or someone to get inside and scrape it out. what is violent giving in and turning soft. to stay breathing. rocks in the belly having their last dance, finding home elsewhere.

quiet.

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