Spines/New Poem (Rough First Draft)
Rough draft of a new poem. This week is Eating Disorder’s Awareness Week. Please spare a thought for those suffering with an eating disorder and their families and those who have passed over too young.
You say the trees look like spines
right in my ear, your breath warm,
smelling of cinnamon.
I think of the oven back home.
That word ‘spines’ momentarily
makes the bones in my knees fidget,
the valves in my heart work at double
speed. I suddenly want all that extra space
in your oversized jumper.
On me it would look fucking ridiculous.
On you, it looks too fucking cool.
I remember that night you said I looked
like a dying hunter, not knowing what
they were after, when you followed
me to the woods. You watched and screamed
a scream that would harpoon the heart
of any parent as I skated over the last ice.
I was sort of light enough then.
I remember the year after we learnt
what bears genuinely did in the wild,
and we’d seen the Blair Witch Project
three times you, we’d go out every
Thursday night and you’d fling your glossy
head backwards. Your hands would fluidly
fold over the hands of some suave professional.
I wouldn’t flirt, I’d rattle and even then they’d
be looking over my sharp mountain shoulders
to where you laughed. Conversation with me
would quickly become an injury. I’d get a taxi
home. Early. Alone.
While you and your friends picked at spots
like you were pulling grit from a cut, I counted
the bones in my hands and blinked tears like thorns.
People’s eyes would border with guilt if I caught
them looking. I wanted the sun to be adjustable
so I could pull it out of sight.
You had several going out dresses. They all fit you.
I had safety pins, baggy material.
It all became about fistfights at sunrise,
and me disappearing like a homeless comet.
Now, it’s nice. We’re both well.
We say ‘I love you sis’
to each other.
Some years ago the trees like spines
would have been my rivals, today
they’re my companions.