Loaves & Fishes

I went away to try and write a book of gentle nature poems but almost nothing could come through because the stream is blocked by a heap of fallen life but I’ll get back to that later, and instead I spent my time setting fire to the ribbons around the wishing tree of myself and listening to the birds, so plump and loud and dusted with brown flour like merry quick-eyed buns, and what is my thing about the connection between bread and birds? Soft, wholemeal birds.

And I watch my mother who survived her lockdown cancer and who has started to become absent or repetitive in gaze and speech and think My god, I lost you and then I got you back, and now this and a series of knocks on my own door are one blood test after another coming back bad, and more speculation that my body is turning around like a traitorous army to slaughter the men behind, or perhaps even though I never knew it I might have caught COVID and now the ghost of someone I never met has come to live in my house. I don’t know, that’s not my job, I just know exhaustion and palpitations like the leap of a sly mackerel and pain and questions and scans and Yeah ok. The other day my partner said to me The whole time I’ve known you you’ve made a violin string look like a bowl of jelly and that’s true and it might be that being a string for long enough is something you pay for in cells and I should just chill out Yeah ok but I feel like a charred stick held up in the wind. I want to be gone somewhere I can lie down curled up with the sun on my back but there is only one place I can imagine being and I’ve just got back from there.

And you know therapy has ended now after twelve weeks and I’m the same? I don’t know what I thought would happen but I don’t think I went to emotional regulation class to become a steamroller and then they *did* find something small but it has to come out and I said Is this the thing making me feel like I’m coming apart and they said No that’s some other thing ok?Yeah ok. There it is again, the arrhythmic flick of slick heart-tail and someone should tell whoever’s in charge You can’t just go around putting fish in people like this. I’m not sure where my mother is, perhaps staring at her tulips and listening to all the singing loaves. Do you know that in so much of the pandemic I couldn’t cry at all? It would take root in my chest and grow so fast but then it would wither by the white strangling wall of my jaw, I think the soil is bad there, and it’s so untidy and I complained to the council but no one has come to help clear away all this dead crying blocking my water. I still can’t do it in front of anyone, I am a magician you know and so I clicked my fingers and turned How are things into a fly but every day I watch the earth having its first cup of morning sun and ask How am I, and start.

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Natasha Kindred

Lost hours • Gilded Saints • Restless dead • Living Waters

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