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The Interdisciplinary Work of Lyss England

Posts from the Poetry Category

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If  you don’t allow yourself
To sit with your grief
And to hold it with you
(Not forever, just for now)

It’s like taking a deep breath
And holding it
Until you suffocate your
Present self.

Maybe that’s the thing
About grief is it is something
Firmly situated in a painful
Present self.

And it may be more comfortable
To stay in the present with
The one I (past me)
Loved.

Because life without you,
Sometimes it seems like it echoes
Through dimensions beyond
My mortal comprehension

But my present self and I
Hold you deeply in
Every cell in my body
And that curve where my leg meets my hip
And the roots of Japanese Maple trees.

So maybe I don’t really need to be without you at all.

I want to know everything
About the way that you feel
After you’ve swallowed sunlight
After you’ve heard
And believed your own thoughts
I want to know all about
What you read from my lips
When they poured my truth
Like those roses you love
Like the ones tattooed on your arms
Forever
Is only as permanent
Is only so long as
How long it takes
To empty your tar-stained lungs
When you tell me
Everything.

It was the hoodie that
Got me
The one with that band logo
The one that I lost long ago
On the greyhound bus to Toronto
On the way to see you.

It started
With my face in your face
Back before we made a life together
Made memories
Made plans.

And all this time later,
You still make me feel
Like blunts and tequila
And broken railings
And peach iced tea
And backstage wings
And home.

After I’ve opened myself
A thousand times
-More than that
Uncountable times
Exposed the insides
That I wear so outwardly
You would think that
Maybe
I would find some way
To feel held
By the fractured ice,
By salt stains, bright lights
But as it turns out,
It is me
My plain language
My “could be pretty” face
My still-too-big body
Where I sit with my
Self-loathing
Where I turn it into
Care and compassion and the
Tight embrace
I have searched through
Winter for
For eleven years.

I strive never to sit
To create something still
I crave movement
It’s gotta do something ’cause
I’m permanently restless
I’m self-loathing when I
Rest
I’m exhausted though still
Spinning
Depleted and dancing
Short on breath
Restricted airways
From all those times
I’ve skipped through
Agony
Darkness
Lines across my arms
From all those times
I’ve struggled out of the grasp of
December’s long, ragged claws
The ones so
Carefully polished
Wondering if this winter
Will finally bring
The ultimate stillness
Where maybe,
For the first time
Since I can
Remember
I feel held.