Autumn Born – For Jillie

Autumn Born

 

All Saint’s Day: your birthday.

I am at a loss as to what I can buy you.

No more diaries.

No more perfume or lipstick: your face no longer fits;

It is a steroid moon dissolving

Into white pillows.

 

Hope,

 

A bud out of season…your make-up bag on the bathroom floor;

The half empty bottles of the everyday you. An opaque crust hardens

The belly of your spotted hippo soap dish.

 

I bring you tea in a plastic cup, its spout

Pouting above childish handles. You are too weak

And pale. A spill of talc patterns your dresser.

The sweet flour disappears

beneath the brush of my hands. Your skin is a dust

Sheet that I long to peel back,

Find your true shape

 

Hiding.

 

I cradle you, rice paper light against my chest.

My open-handed ribs cup the gathering lumps, bruised

With haemorrhaging, that deadly purple

Blooming. The lipless

Grin of pink scars on your scalp kisses

My cheek as you lean.

 

“I’m in a bit of a state”, you say. Then you joke

about the air-suck of an empty teat, the raspberries

you can blow with your plastic,

milkless mother.

 

We lay listening to the young boy

Take his music lesson in the next room, to the crammed

Silence between empty words. I kiss you

 

Goodnight.

 

And from the bleached well of your pillow, your eyes

Clamour like hands. Your eyes: wide

Summer skies over shedding

Leaves, that we must gather

in baskets to burn.

                                                   

                                                   Maria Ede-Weaving

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1 Comment

  1. Christine Croft said,

    January 29, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Beautiful and very moving. Good Night Jillie


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