EXTERIOR night. A main road in London.
LX1: Streetlamps watch a woman pass & text each other.
FX1: The sound of a door opening into a chest cavity. A lone woman walks briskly, head
down & holding invisible bouquets. Ahead of her is a hunched building with its
hands in it pockets, bracketed by gossiping fairy lights.
LX2: A neon sign flashes its pink dilate. Maryville, the sign says. The woman pushes open
the door & enters her own body. At the bar she orders a drink and when it arrives it is her
breath. Music is playing. It is the sound of someone being listened to. She notices that she is
sitting at every table. When the woman asks her to dance the whole of her past stands up to
dance with her; her classmates, her teachers, the manager of the shop she worked in over
Christmas, the newspaper proprietor, the street she grew up on, an adjacent town, her parents
and grandparents, the kid who waited for her after school. The song ends. The world opens.
from C+nto and Othered Poems (The Westbourne Press, 2021), © Joelle Taylor 2021, used by permission of the author.