Lifting my head requires more than it should. Was it always
this way, nodding out to plants in the mirror, pinning down
blinders. I tell you I’m losing it, and I’m convinced I mean it.
How do we decide our form, uncrooked and loved, crooked
or loved. I’d like to wake up and be totally sure of one thing.
That white noise can fill a bedroom that most parts of body
won’t go to waste if they’re untouched. Here is how I think:
worrying that you’re wrong means you’re wrong less. Signs
of me going under again, choked up and peachy keen. How
does it end, when the surprise ends? I lay back, hair soaking
and undone. I am an animal who burns its own tail, nothing
left for pretense. But know: being unlike this is even worse.
How do you turn it good. My mother won’t know, softly rumbling
in a cot, glass of milk by her head. The windows are shoved apart
orange slices bowled. Nothing is unstill.
You should have been safe, child. And I wasn’t – buckling for it all
printed as a moon for it. Willing to be taken as granted like never
before. A green chair ended up on its side.
To find me returning now: ribs reappraised, clucking quietly at her
doorframe. Don’t end up here again, she warns. I slip under cover
letting air into the damp spread.
Staying long by her side, I could still find fault. She allows me, wall
painted pale, my croaking endlessly. But little can change — being
understood is too much for one body to bear.
Madeleine Kruhly is a graduate of the M.A. in Poetry at the University of East Anglia. Her poems have appeared in Ambit and Thrush, and her reviews have been published online for The Economist and the Los Angeles Review of Books.