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I will not live in the wound by Sarah Godsell

Sarah Godsell | June 17th, 2018 | poetry | No Comments

Poem

I will not live in the wound
I have carved a cave out of it and have been
feeding myself by picking its scabs everyday
painting my skin with the fresh
oozing blood

I have been facing the flesh
for so long light beams have given
up on trying to turn me around
They have stopped tapping on my shoulder, they
amuse themselves by making webs on my back

I hear them whispering, though.
Tales about who I could have been if they could coax me out of the cave

I heard them.
Pretended I did not.
Pretended I only spoke wound-language and needed to eat only scabs.

One day a spider appeared in the web of light on my back
She bit me in between my should blades:
Once
Twice

I tried to shake her off but she wound herself into the light beams and waited
Tendrils grew from bites
winding round me green, from my back,
then growing brown-black as they twisted into the ground at my feet
snaking along the floor they braced themselves
along the edge of the wound
just far enough away so I could no longer pick the scabs
or feed of the blood

“You’re starving me”
I said to them

They were tendrils. They said nothing. Just continued to grow
Centimetre by centimetre

I didn’t notice their growth was turning me round,
out of the corner of my eye I watched
the wound I could no longer touch and felt panic

No longer able to assure myself that it was not yet healed
No longer able to prolong the healing

Inch by inch the tendrils turned me and,
once the light beams caught onto the plan
they began to dance on my back, through my hair, into my fingers

“We have been waiting for you” they seemed to say

***

It will take me years to be able to see clearly outside the wound.
The tendrils have grown into a forest behind me but I know that somewhere there
are the scabs and the blood

The spider made her home there for a while
as she bit
every now and again
on a place she deemed necessary of special attention

I was fully facing the light. Didn’t see her leave
I will have scars to remind me
of how a spider and light beams and tendrils
once conspired to save me from
living in the wound

Poet Bio

Sarah Godsell is a poet, historian, educator and publisher.
One link in three of impepho press
Lecturer in Education at Wits University
Author of Seaweed Sky (poetree publications, 2016)
Constantly chooses Up

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