I return to the place of my birth the long way round, cocooned in the belly of a warm travelling snake. Baptised by fire, bathed in the cool geography of our beloved country, I arrive sweating and with a temperature. It is seeping out of my pores, the history of both centuries and recent days churning together in my veins, under my skin, sticky and pregnant with nothingness. I need to sleep. I need to rest. I have stopped; returned to the beginning. Nestling into the breast of my heritage, i am hugged tight. i am healed.
in the silence, i can think. i dig deeper into the quiet and soon even the birdsong stings my ears. there is revelation here. i lap it up; savour it; cut it into intricate designs and hang it from the rafters for reference. i need to remember this.
how quick things become strange to the touch. how quick memories fade, their sides crinkling up yellow. the stolen orchid is blooming. the air is heavy. this place is mine but i do not belong here. i can’t breathe deep. as hard as i try to avoid making eye contact, they seek me out and they stare me down. these beasts i can not help. not right now. i am trying my best, i cry. why won’t they listen?
why won’t they see
he kisses my eyelids open. you are here, he whispers. you are here.