Witness of, not survivor of

After Mária Ferenčuhová



a bundle of bones is sucking the sweet last relic of rain

from the earth


as though it could grow back the proof of their bodies

just like that


pitch tents of skin to shelter hopes and dreams


not this rumour of rot  swallowing everybody’s





the spill of the sun  kissed the earth in daggers

a gridlocked romance


tracing wounds that won’t heal but howl

like wolves


through a forest

that shrank to spindle

and shadow


empty pockets of sky  and dusty fall-out

as food




earth lounged  on its axis of ripple

and ruin


and could barely remember which way

was up


flooded hearts until  they were no longer fit

for human habitation




night slipped  into hot  sweats and recurrent bad dreams


the stars were escaping and galaxies snagged their silk

in the gaps


the moon sulked  and said that hide and seek

was no fun alone




parallel selves  reared their heads in tandem


like  woodworm  clawing up through

the cracks


claimed the milk  of the  dawn as their  medicine


only to make  the same mistakes we did




parcels of flesh turned up knocking on

closed doors


hoping to redirect to a future  where green was still

a colour




witness of, not survivor of when life as we know it scorches to a

full stop.

unpublished poem, © Jade Cuttle 2019, used by permission of the author.

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