Artwork by Claire Potter
Photograph by Matt Cole
Text by Frankie Mace
I have lived within your absence
the negative pressure of your breathing a medical ventilator
expanding the shame that lurches in the cavity
forcing the exhalation at your name.
You have killed me in your sleep ————
vengefully you amputated
// the terminal infection //
that I am to you.
The knowledge of my destruction is dizzying:
expensive bombs raining a future a famine a fallout.
To destroy unutterably is a fresh power
a cave full of bones, thrilling in its horror –
only debris lives longer that death.
Don’t use the word forever
luckless wreck, Medea.
The magnitude of your devotion threatens,
bruises darkly, flowering its juices.
Your shadow in an image ¦ egami na ni wodahs ruoY
I may only pale and wane
clammy as the moon on an old plate
… Surrounded by the imagined company of the dead …
That is but is not history
I have things to say that are unemailable.
You with your souks, your Maroc skies
blameless as a porcelain saint – Hero
wrenched from her Leander.
Memory has perfected for you a martyr
an old rug torn for a love of the same hook
leaving a floor shadow the texture of echo
/ echo of texture the shadow floor a leaving.
Shiver out of your skin ( I will wear it )
the psychic cloak of it unique in its
remoteness and intimacy.
For then I was Circe, temptress
[Treacherous in the dark]
rival on a foreign isle
where < need springs > from desire
and claims manhood like a trophy.
Whispered dissent a poison——–delivered on a tooth
Fawned over by drugged victims of a simple magic
Which turns them all to swine.
And yet, living in the half-light of unknowing
will soon be mine to inhabit.
From the edge it drifts to the centre in @n eternal return:
I have become Penelope now
and will clean the cups and fluff the pillows,
facilitate in waves of succour
[Loving fearfully in the shadows]
To adorn a *fresh fantasy* with honey
As a patient handmaiden at a loom;;;
Prepares a new rug.
*Originally published by the London Review of Fiction*