By the time I have learned to handle the blade
of my young body, the blade has been dulled.
As my grandmother told me, Youth is wasted
on the young. I would tell her now that truth is,
too. I didn’t recognise the sound. Do you know
how much light an ice cap holds? How much
weight? The same for a body. If I could melt,
what light. If I could surrender, a flood. Again,
I am trying to convert myself, to fall through glass
without sound. You’d think I would know better
by now. I learned on the wards how to use my
tongue, to say no without employing my bones
as messengers. And yet. And yet. When it seems
the world is going mad, I go without dinner, take
my coffee black. I dip a toe in the old water. They
teach you to dial the voices down, fiddle the frequency.
But every so often, a flash of static:
………………………..Come on in. The water’s lovely.
Cheryl Pearson is the author of Oysterlight (Pindrop Press). Her poems have appeared in publications including The Guardian, Mslexia, Under the Radar, and Poetry NorthWest, and she has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has won or placed in competitions including the Cheshire Prize, the Hippocrates Prize, the Gregory O’Donoghue Prize, the Keats Shelley Prize, and the Costa Short Story Award. Her second collection, Menagerie, is forthcoming from The Emma Press in 2020.