June 9, 2011

I have been putting this off. I have been afraid to write this, to unload it- I gather it all up in my arms and hug it tight and breathe it in, carry it in the packed hollows of my ribcage. Stuff it between my lungs (this is why they are so small) strap it tight around my heart (this is why it is so hard to breathe). I forget to breathe it out.

I have been putting this off but today at the museum I put words on a wall, scattered sentences made up on a touch-screen of images and animations and other people’s faces and my own, finger-tapped letters in cyan and fuschia. It was not my choice of colour. It was barely poetry it was words unwrung like string pulled from sleeves. It was words. But they were words that stuck in my head afterwards and dragged me down as my friend with the mile-high legs perused paintings. I looked at the backs of sculptures and the detailed cracked hands of oil painted-women and sat down and felt the words sit in me, heavy and symbolic of- things I have not said yet. Things I cannot say just yet. Things that come out when I open my mouth. Words.


the interstices of myself
in regnum
shapeless underneath a face like burnt coal

i could have loved you
i think

the collapsed trajectory of veins
in movement the defunct heart

like dead birds
once down to nevermore
collide with the reaching listening air


my loss of you

no other silence takes the breath away
so completely



and I realised if I am spilling it everywhere even onto walls that I need to write about it. It is necessary. But thinking about it makes me tired and I am afraid that if I open up the case of my lungs it will all fall out again and- something bad will happen, I will lose it, i will lose myself, I will. Find something that I don’t want to find, rotting inside the carapace of my own cavernous ribs.

Breathe in, breathe in.


Breathe out, Valerie.

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