Cushion pushing tight into the twists,
the rumbles. Shh, time to sleep
I said before ears came.
The night, perched on the bed edge,
minutes like breaths, squeezing me.
My foreign body. Pulsing.
Weight of silence, an endless open mouth.
Wait in darkness.
Shoe-horned into the car
under my tree, its soft reassurance,
resolve. Battered power
of an injured tiger.
Here, take my body,
it’s yours now.
Pummel me with
your ice cold faceless faces.
Watch me like a cat pawing bird
as I jolt, ricochets up my spine.
I don’t recognise myself
as they trolley me to the new room
with endless breasts which smother me.
Suffocate me in starched white.
I lay still in-between judders
with their walls and wires, lights that beep.
Daylight, hopeful smile on a wheeled-in tray.
Entonox is my friend, it brings me echoes,
fractured words and giggles
as her fingers inch.
Searching for news
but there is none.
Try again tomorrow, they say.
And I search the ceiling for a way out.
I’ve grown used to their window
though I cannot see outside.
One day there’ll be flowers on that table.
Another face on the end of the nth syringe.
I laugh and cry at the same time.
My turquoise bag reminds me of home,
it jars me.
She’ll be back later
and she drops a smile by the door.
Later the ceiling mocks me,
while they swab me clean
and tidy me away to nothing.
I may watch these walls
for the rest of my life.
You know night, that space
where everything sinks?
It takes me, leaves me shaking
in their hard backed chair,
drunk on spasms, they roll me over
strip me bare.
There, they lock the medicine away.
Tight lipped, they make me wait
In daylight, pethidine is my best friend.
I call for surgeons,
but their absent hands upset me.
They sip tea on Sundays
while I rock, ridiculous,
a wretched remnant desperate for a gown.
Somewhere a woman wails,
I wonder if she has flowers in her room.
I have no limbs now,
no head to call my own.
My pupa waits, watches the clock
push the hours, breath by breath,
my shadow up their wall.
Till everything bustles, they rush and prod,
watch over me in their Petri dish.
They tut-tut and poke.
Their needles search and pierce,
severing my pain.
I am numbness on plastic sheets,
chrome glints at my feet,
lights wink at me.
They concentrate and congregate,
explore me until teatime.
I give it my best shot.
Then I concede, consent to them,
give up, give out and give in.
I am aware of my breath,
my lungs expanding and contracting
by their green scrubs.
Their scorching lights and tinkering.
Brush the hair out of my eyes.
And where my abdomen used to be
the world opens, lilies start to bloom.
Loud and excitable, like a new heart beat.
Ceilings come and go under the sheer love.