Testing Time

(runner up in Hysteria Women’s Writing Competition 2014)

A plastic stick lies in the bin, discarded by the dozen.

Sobriety will be a pleasure when you are ready to request it.

But for now I’m allowed a daily numbness,

while I’m mourning every lack of sickness.

Three laps of a clock, then I can search

for a life

line,

memorised instructions checked one last time.

Self-enforced showers wash away the minutes,

rubbing steamy glass to make view-holes.

I stare through, longing for a sense of blue,

then slow-motion towelling

as monthly windows are closed behind frosted glass.

 

Holding the cord in the bathroom,

I stare at the mirror to look at how I feel,

before returning to the tea, returning,

just me.

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POEM OF THE DAY – RUTH FAINLIGHT – TO SEE THE MATTER CLEARLY

He dreams I want to leave him
Roams through the night forest desolate
and I dream I’ve abandoned him
feel waxy pleasure of that sin
Its subsequent atonement
Next morning, both our faces mark the change
Mine with the guilty look of those
Who knowingly succumb to dreams
And his the speculative gaze
Of someone learning

POEM OF THE DAY: NOTHING BY JORGE CARRERA ANDRADE

NOTHING
BY JORGE CARRERA ANDRADE
In bookstores there are no books,
in books no words,
in words no essence:
there are only husks.

In museums and waiting rooms
are painted canvases and fetishes.
In the Academy there are only recordings
of the wildest dances.

In mouths there is only smoke,
in the eyes only distance.
There is a drum in each ear.
A Sahara yawns in the mind.

Nothing frees us from the desert.
Nothing saves us from the drum.
Painted books shed their pages,
becoming husks of Nothing.

CUTTING THE TIES

(PUBLISHED IN SEVENTH QUARRY, SUMMER ISSUE 2012)

Smelling the age you loved the most
With half of each other in your hands,
The ink is pushed along by empty fingers
Across a path to you and your eyes.
The grass is waiting with nothing in between
As you choose between left and right.
There is the phrase from a million mouths
Making myriad hopes.
I want to light up your face
But I would be smudging what has started to form.