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The Murmuring and More
By Natalie Crick
The poison drips steadily into my skull.
Lice are feeding. They are carnivorous.
She is biting away at my life.
I am merely a husk.
She watches me lie awake at night.
She lives in me, breathing,
Locking my heart away in a chamber
Where nothing moves.
Where the air freezes to ice.
I wait for a sound.
There is no end.
I remember the beginning: a death.
We are white with exhaustion at what this thing is.
It is the last night of our lives.
Tomorrow I’ll be gone.
She is alive. Look:
It is beginning to hatch.
But it is dark. So dark.
I can barely see my own reflection in the mirror.
There is just some stranger.
We try to catch the pieces of me
Before they shatter forever.
Misted snow drifts over the remains.
She Chose Red
It is Winter.
He dragged her through the snow,
Her heart in her hand.
She was trying to be special.
In her room
Is a barbed cage.
She made it herself.
She waits inside with a needle in the dark.
Chewing her own hair.
They don't talk to her.
Her mouth is full of hair.
She chose red.
Dreamer, how did you get so low?
Anywhere you go,
She will follow.
She is a slut called Jezabel.
There is sunshine in an empty place.
Her birthday: a black death.
The rush she gets. Machina.
Her cousin is a spider.
Now give her an inch, a mile.
She is a beautiful liar.
She crawled out from the sea.
A horse drinks from the dark water
When you were five
And I was six,
We would hold hands
Just like this.
When you were nine
And I was ten,
We made a pact
To never tell, and then:
You began to tell me every word
That escaped from your lips, with cold secret stares.
A look or a glance through long
Fingertips. Your beautiful face.
I see you sitting by the stair, your body
Tight in hot sun, a sad lamb
On stage. And when I have passed you
Flushed red raw, I want to remember
How young we were.
Splayed out across the pitch
Like baby starfish, pink and pinched
As tongue's blood.
Our father and mother are in silent reverie,
With knotted wrists and electric hair,
Nodding and clapping, as dumb waiters do
To our games. When we are together we are together.
Today we are family as the ill
Walk in lines, with shaken smiles that marry us.
Mother, to me you are a figure of fun.
Father, you are a child when you wake up each morning.