Blood, emeralds, bears
Standing in your hallway my blood turned sharp, full of tiny conical things
the feet of the spider stippling the inside of the plastic champagne flute.
That bath really was spacious, a place meant for eating grapes in, rehearsing
plays. All I want to do is listen to Black Midi and walk laps of town all day.
When the doctor takes my blood I rarely feel emptied, more like a space has
opened for more fear to rush in. The wait is jagged, faceted, reflective in more
than one sense of the word, clear in places, deep in places, seeming to contain
a watery silence, dense and cold in reality, immutable, bookended by Sundays,
set wetly in metal. I think of disappearing acres, a lace of branches alight, curled
shapes of koalas. A dimness thickens things, I can’t really imagine it, and feel
ashamed. I need to stop favouring the localized apocalypse, the call from the
unknown number, the tactful reminder from the hospital clinic. The bottle of
wine that fell from my bag in the dark of the forest looked like blood and
emeralds. A sudden mosaic. I wanted to hibernate, become sea glass, wake
smoothly, none of this sickness, none of these dreams where people die and un-
die, none of these days where I study the tarmac, packed to itself like cells.
The in-between feeling is soft today, twisting,
seems located in a throat, or like it could make
needle-thin trails above chimneys in the distance
around the low brown shape of the quarry as seen
from the window of my childhood room, like
it could curl from the palms of hands in winter,
billow from horses’ nostrils. The feeling seems
like it could stretch across a ribcage, or block out
all the light in a room, hiding catastrophes in its
rich folds, a feeling you could sink into, covered
all over with small protrusions, creepy up close
like the wavering threads at the back of an eye.
Alicia Byrne Keane is a PhD student from Dublin, Ireland. Alicia has a first class honours degree in English Literature and French from Trinity College Dublin and a MSt. in English Literature 1900-Present from Oxford University, and is currently working on an Irish Research Council-funded PhD study of ‘vagueness’ and translation in the work of Samuel Beckett and Haruki Murakami, at TCD. Alicia's poems and short fiction have previously been published in The Moth, Entropy Magazine, Impossible Archetype, Poethead, College Green, and the [PANK] blog, among others. The titles of these poems are taken from this article by Claire-Louise Bennett on writing her novel, Pond. Image via Flickr