some nights i, molested by some

morbid desire, stand before my mirror

and examine myself: my chest, my breasts,

 

two halves divorced, barren land between.

there are few travellers here, each pilgrim

searching for some fiction, some specific

dream in which i had a minor role.

i trace the ravine of my collar bone,

the mountain range of my hips,

mapping ground snapped in so many

postcards, holiday photographs.

 

these sacred places are advertised on

signs off the motorway. they distract from

the road, calling you to museums, to viewpoints

(dogging sites), to caravan parks, each roadside attraction

less convincing as you wait for the turnoff for the next services:

 

you’re out of coffee,

your limbs are stiff,

you need a cigarette,

you need to piss

 

and there’s nothing good on the radio.

 

one hundred and fifteen miles to dover. you’re thinking

about crashing the car, suddenly slamming your foot down on the

brake so that the lorry behind won’t be able to stop. everything

piles up behind you, metal over metal over metal. it’s hard to

imagine that anything might cut the static for a second.

 

the internet is ruining our children’s ability to communicate,

it’s ruining their attention spans and giving them long term health

issues: chronic back pain, poor eyesight and rep-

 

it’s only natural that we think about ourselves in

such terms. we cannot imagine each other’s complexities, yet

when i catch sight of your eyes in the rear-view,

i know that you must have them, must have them like i do,

but i can’t fathom an anxiety to give you.

 

 

Amy Kinsman is a poet and playwright from Manchester, England. As well as being the Founding Editor of Riggwelter Press and Associate Editor of Three Drops From A Cauldron, Amy is also the host of a regular poetry open mic. Amy’s debut pamphlet, &, was joint winner of the Indigo Dreams Pamphlet Prize 2017.

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