You are a man-animal when you sleep. Your breath rustles past airways I would leap through; want to lie beside. You are heavy. Barely awake, but an instinctive arm over and around the shape of me, nustling me in. I can do all the things I always do, forget nothing, explore every side of myself, onward, onward, and something lets me breathe more deeply than ever I have; lets me submit; lets me choose to, only because of you. You ache inside with all the things you understand, and I have seen the same things, and made light of them; I widen a single eye and you release, curling up your mouth, finally understood. Didn’t you build your empire, row by row? Didn’t you burn paper money to find something more real? I was waiting, all that time, and lighting matches, too. Continue reading


All’s well

Whenever an individual, company or organisation sends me an email which starts with ‘I hope your well’, I can’t help but have a pleasing flash of a particular image in my mind before continuing with the missive.

How kind (I think, picturing my well – a deep, narrow drop I imagine in my back garden, quietly existing on its own, darkly and damply) of them to express their concern and interest. It’s lovely to think that complete strangers have high hopes (or hopes of any kind at all) for my well. It’s sweet of them to enquire about it so urgently as to put it at the very top of the email (‘How’s your family? How’s work? Hope your well’)… But I am always left imagining what was meant to come next – what exactly is the nature/content of these hopes – since no one ever finishes the sentence. ‘I hope your well…. isn’t too cold and lonely’? ‘… isn’t too full of stones or sticks or scared of its own darkness’? ‘I hope your well is a source of nutritious, clean water that brings pride and good health to you and all who know you’?

I don’t mind that they get distracted halfway through the sentence and cut straight to a new one; I know the thought is there, of whatever type, and I appreciate it. Thanks.

wellWell’s well.


My windowsill has been quite educational recently; every autumn and winter, colonies of ladybirds gather (I would be a very niche Cinderella, and sadly they don’t chirup at me like the birds, who echo her every intonation before riffing off her suggestions) and huddle. I hadn’t realised ladybirds hibernate, but for the last few years they’ve obviously been sending each other memos – maybe in morse code via the vibrations of their tiny feet – spreading the word that the corners of the windowframe in particular are where the party is happening.  Continue reading