Hairless Me Breathless by Karen Little

I come here to find the ocean, a frog trapped in a footprint,
a dried out riverbed painted with a child’s colour box. I swim
in my mind to feel how silence sounds, exploring the hidden
mountains, the grass bib around remote specks. I know the brain
of the place only when I sleep; the scent, the misting over eyes,
fogged vision. That’s one way of getting there.

In the space of white fur, black eyes hairless me breathless,
instead of baking toes, rain-drenched, sweet under water.

She writes, ‘It’s different when you’re in love,’ in ink too pale
for such a bold statement. I select from an ever-diminishing heap
of platitudes, write of serial disasters, feelings torn, hurt and despair
over cyclic hurts, embellish anger, mythologise slight offences
to major disasters. Drink away her money and bleat my poetry.
In our self-created universes we are all winners writing history
of our own devising.

I appreciate the unwrapped, naked with purpose. I am not a fixed set
of co-ordinates, you don’t know my position and what I consist of.
I am not yours to map and fold away. During those times when I am not
on a single person’s mind, when only the ticking rise of bubbles in the glass
intrudes on my silence, my silence doesn’t mean you’ve silenced me.

Self-harm doesn’t always involve razor-blades; try pushing everyone
away until you’re alone, surrounded by your own anger, hate or indifference;
it’s very addictive to never defend yourself, to accumulate no allies.
The skin of the world, that tiny tear it didn’t notice, a scratch that to me
feels like a gaping wound, tries to let life in. I stitch it closed. When I have
succeeded I can finally sleep, a slug in the lettuce-rot of my life.

Karen Little

Karen Little trained as a dancer at London Contemporary Dance School, and as a Sculptor at Camberwell School of Art, London. She has performed and exhibited internationally.. She regularly reads her poetry at events and has recently been published in over thirty magazines and anthologies, including Petals in the Pan anthology, Deep Water Literary Journal and Southern Pacific Review.

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