fragments of a half-blood sappho
a woman is a woman, and the rebuilt, scribbled and written over patchwork she is moulded from. and so i was. four years ago, an acquaintance hurts her head in a courtyard, against a wandering sycamore. i rubbed a damp towel across the wound and left it to fester. give her some sugar, and the swelling will get better. i spoon it out gently, crystals seeping into thick-gums. i want pain to rub me the right way: fever licking fleshy tongues and epidermis sizzling underneath polluted skies. i want to slip into a cadaver’s treasure chest every sunday evening and gently lull it to sleep. perhaps the cicadas will keep it company. there is beauty in the undead. i then caught a thrush in my outstretched palm. we don’t get flamingoes on this side of town. perhaps we never will.
i sometimes wonder how atheists die. i do not know if they hear gongs or prayer wheels. if someone wipes their tears near a weeping willow tree every night or if they are tucked in and lie forgotten in the sand, to be stepped over and brushed aside for legions to come. if a saintly nightmare of a deity curls jasmine into their fingertips, does blasphemy still remain?
i wonder if i am a poet because i have no faith, or i have no faith because i loathe being a poet.
later that night, i bleed dregs of clumped up papyrus through my faded yellow jeans. at school, we whisper sanctimony; like it isn’t sacred. like it isn’t holy. like i do not wish to drape tapestries of a single sprinted melody against every cool shopfront i pass by. i know that my body exists in the same way i know my surroundings do. i know that if a gland’s chill makes its way into a boarded up bus seat every field trip, it leaves a mark.
i want to leave a mark.
pride is peddled to me wherever i go. it looks at me from the corner of its eye, squinting into the tram lines, raising a nuclear eyebrow at me. i dislike its taunts, try to deflect them like peripheral volleyballs on pigeonholed track runs.
i meet it halfway.