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Your Odyssey - V.B.

i remember the first time

she says

lightly tipping golden syrup on to her pancakes

he slit his wrists downward like this -

your mum tuts and sucks liquid amber off quick fingertips

moving down the sheer white and iridescent blue



you were two when your uncle first tried to die

but it was far from the last time

and liquid velvet made his heart beat so slow that

his blood waited, hesitant and

he went quietly

but not quickly

into the night and


its family truths on the florescent menu


you remember the box that he gave you

when you were nine and the wood was carved -

inside was a butterfly but one wing was crushed

and your breath went tight,

chest constricting because

it had felt like goodbye

and now you know it was

you know who else liked morphine though, don't you?

and you just look away because you don't like

the theme of the room

the patriarchal symmetry

the certainty that you are not the only one who feels

inside like you're dirty -

that's right, your grandfather

every day

his pint of tea and Valium

kept the doctors and bad dreams away

your eyes flick up to the flippancy

in her tone

and you wonder if she still feels alone

like that time you found that note

but couldn't find your name

and you wondered

is that because she blames



it's just one of the reasons you never told her

about the baby

but it's more than that

you never really told anyone

because you knew you weren't ready

to be a mum

head and heart strangled between two purple lines

of course he got away with it

he always seemed fine


apart from that one time on the phone

and it feels like a cruel irony

a bitter retreat

that you love morphine too

because it feels like the womb

the one that didn't want you

the one you didn't want

history repeats itself

DNA kaleidoscopes

until your body feels like a tomb

for all that came before you


you are alive with particles

fibres of being that know

that you are not the sum of these mistakes

your families, your own

the bones

of your body are a chorus, a hymn

to the secret within

that you are made from a universe

that collapsed to grow

shrank to expand


inside you is a storm

that bellows in the darkest corners

where you have bent,

where you have broke

and then again, somehow you rose

because you are more than what you cannot forgive

you are more than your invisible scars

you are made from a universe that loves you

you are made of stars

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