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Black Death Breath

You are reading my breath. It smells filthy like last night’s mistake, tastes rotten like a black rat has died inside of it. To have death inside breath, which is life, and to have life inside death, which is the stopping of breath, ha! Death-breath, vast breath, glass breath, want-to-make-it-last-like-memories-of-the-past-breath, now getting-fast breath, in-out, in-out, like last night’s mistake. In-out, in-out like my gasping, rasping breath that was half-silent like death, dirty like earth, like rot, buried under the weight of his hand on my mouth. You can hear my breath in this page if you hold it a little closer to your eye which is the ear by which you hear me by. I am screaming in white and thinking in ink so hear me, see me, feel me because you’re near me like no one else. You’re near me because you’re paying attention, because you’re holding me open in your hands and reading me into existence. Yes, I’m here in the ink, sinking within the margins of my breath but I’m deathly alone and I’m dying for you to read me, smell me, kiss me, hold me, mould me, miss me, love me, trust me. Vision is… is… it’s going, fading, blurring, thinning and now I remember him going in-out, in-out of my glass body, shattering it to pieces and I conclude that I am broken because something has cracked in me or maybe I’m crackers, mad, delusional and he did nothing wrong.

Last night’s mistake is … my mistake … or his? In his court it will be mine, in my ink, it is his, so which is more damning, to be sentenced in law or literature, to be a man condemned or to be a woman, simply? I, like most women, have had a life-sentence since birth, oh, and a nickname too: ‘Miss Take-It-All’, my mother used to say. Miss Take happily divorced from Mr Eeous, ha, I seReeously Miss Took that Mr-eerous man’s attention for kindness, but then again, I always used to take what wasn’t mine and the kindness of others has never been given to me freely. No, I steal it, I feel it, I lose it, I miss it; I always fucking miss it, like I miss the bus, like I miss my appointments, like I miss my friend when I remember she’s dead or just missing from life. Miss Take, Miss Late, MissUnderstood-His-Kisses-For-Care. I really would have shouted louder, I really could have, should have killed him with the bottle on the bedside table but I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t move, shouldn’t dwell. It felt like hell, so I lay there a mute woman on fire but this morning I am lacustrine, cool, and calm with a mint fresh perspective and a mouthful of sweet forgetfulness.


The bathroom is flooded with light, so please, come from the darkness of my bedroom, the shortness of my sentences and keep me company whilst I shower. It is ok for you to look at my body naked because I trust you and it is ok to be naked because I am away from the society that makes my nakedness dirty. Showers such as this remind me that I can wash off the dirt, scrape myself clean of the skin I wore yesterday like a snake shedding into newness. When I scrub my skin and let the harsh brush abrase the dead flakes of my body I am always reminded of a short story I once read by Angela Carter in which the skin of Beauty is licked off by the sandpaper tongue of the Beast. It is sexual of course, having one’s skin licked off. I wish someone would lick my skin off sometimes, without it feeling, as it always does when someone strips you bear either physically or emotionally, that something has been taken from you. I am rubbing the skin off today, fetching the flowers myself. It is now a smooth olive brown set against these sun-washed tiles of beige. Yes, this is fine. Yes, I can start again, we can start again together. I’m sorry we got off on such a bad foot, such a rough night, such a grim tale but then again, if you think about it, most things begin with violence. Birth, for example – such messy business. Even the birth of the universe began as an explosion, banging atoms into a bigness and like most violence it will be followed by the hollowness of peace.


Very experimental piece, fairly dark themes but interesting as a springboard for wider exploration

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