Lingual Swamp

A filthy witch lived inside me when
I spent too much time
growing.
She eliminated the healthy bugs
that sewed my insides nicely,
that watered my battle
and push forward flowers.

I wanted to learn how to fish
with a stick. I wanted
to pick protein out
of fish scales, but
the witch said
she had an allergy. She took my stick
and hid it.

I miss my bugs. The healthy ones.
They helped me stay clean.
I cannot breathe
properly
on my own.

I grew with the witch for years,
while she sang
death march hymns. I learned the
words
and ate them, instead of the fish.

When it came time for gutting and
cleaning, I painted
my own limbs with scales
and
fished with knife sticks for protein.

I spent too much time growing
with this rapacious
witch. Her sharp teeth chewed
my affections to analgesic cream

that spread throughout me, burying
everything but
the enchantress and her
music.

 

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9 thoughts on “Lingual Swamp

  1. “When it came time for gutting and
    cleaning, I painted
    my own limbs with scales
    and
    fished with knife sticks for protein.”

    This is a beautiful one Maggie – the lines above literally made me suck in my breath and shudder. That’s a compliment. I like the way you manage to talk about self harm (I’m pretty sure that’s what it’s about?) without directly saying it. Fab.

      • You’re very welcome Maggie. It’s hard sometimes with our own work to know whether a meaning or inference will come across to someone reading it, isn’t it? After all, when we write it, it’s completely obvious to us in our own heads. I find it difficult at times to strike the balance between oversaying something, ramming it home with a sledgehammer, and being too obtuse – I’ve had a couple recently which some people have read a completely different meaning into than what I intended… But then, I guess that’s not for me to question. The notion of clarity and metaphor still fascinates me though.
        Fish scales…

  2. Maggie…. as usual, I’m reduced to “Wow!” to describe my reaction…. Such pain, and such self-healing; almost too hard to finish… I’m finding your work is such that I need to prepare myself before reading them… but, I’m determined to do so, because it’s always such a powerful piece of you, I wouldn’t miss a single word for anything…. thanks for sharing You….

  3. The witch is a bitch and she fights to get inside us all, “I painted my own limbs with scales
    and fished with knife sticks for protein.” You had to cut to stop the pain. She stopped the pain with her analgesic cream, but then you needed to cut some more to feel any thing at all. That witch is a bitch. You on the other hand are brilliant to express how and what you feel /felt. Thank you for sharing.

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