Holding yourself softly: a retreat from chaos

Suzie Beckley

Swimming in the air,
this is what it is to be older,
the limbs in my head spread wide, 
and I am balanced on the surface 
of all the things I told myself to be true.
They don’t shatter,
they never do,
but the ripples that my fingertips make have grown.

I am on the surface,
but in the water still,
observing the bigger movements,
but a passenger of my own time.

Listening to the current,
I stop fighting myself. 

I want to remember this water.
It’s not a feeling that can be repeated:
remembering yourself alive.
He joked that no one was swimming in it because it was a mirror,
but maybe he was right,
seeking out an unknown part of yourself,
sometimes it comes when you least expect.

A cold warmth.
You can’t feel anything,
but at the same time you feel everything.
The mountains create a vacuum
and the sky becomes the mirror
and every corner of yourself rests upon the surface,
growing and ungrowing.

The threads untangle themselves,
and you are just breath and flesh.
 

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© Helicon Magazine 2019

University of Bristol