The Departure

Checked my email this morning to find this:

“Subject: Your poem “The Departure” in “Up The Staircase”
I had the pleasure of discovering this poem just now.
What a delight!
Fresh voice, the right words in the right order, vivid and startling
imagery, and insight: all packed into a sleek poem.
Well done. Many thanks.”
Well, that made my day!

Mama, your daughter is dripping down the side of the world, dissipating slowly. I
thought you should know.
At night I hear the police helicopter circling like a fat buzzard, contemplating
if it will kill- perhaps, not kill. It hums as it picks the city clean while I am a sieve,
howling hungry. I gape and gape and run right through the days, thinking: to kill
or not to kill. I thought you should know.
Tuesday rolled into Wednesday and I was caught somewhere between, slipping
through myself. I dreamt of orchards: tart citrus splitting my tongue and bees
working themselves through my hair. Grandpa was there, asking after Grandma, his
shirt, crisp from the iron, eclipsing the fruits. He was no more reachable than the
summers he spent under the verandah, his shirt, crisp from the iron, safe from the sun.
I was eight, treading water, and from the edges: bursting oleander. You were
coming to pick me up, Mama. When I dried off, my legs read: MEAN MEAN! MEAN
and I was balled on the couch, busy being a sieve.

I was back at home, Mama, rotating psychosis. It was late afternoon on a
Thursday, the helicopter pesting. I thought you should know.

Published at Up the Staircase Quarterly


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