Sarah Webster


Did it start with us curling away each night / our backs turned / the heart of space we used to make / between our foreheads and our knees / now thrown upside down / now kicked around / by cold sleepless feet.

Every evening when the light was switched off night would paint our skin blue and black / as if for war / and we would turn our backs to each other / our hair battling in the trench / between the pillows.

So many tiny splittings / idle fingers troubling the ends of each stray comment / forking hairs to their roots / balding possibilities for growth / until finally / a parting.

Looking at it now / is it possible what we thought of as splitting was more like an unfurling / two fronds growing giant / fighting for space in a small apartment / needing to spread like sails needing some weather to smooth the wrinkles from new wings as they stretched / toppling books from shelves / shattering plates / a favourite vase.

And perhaps the fighting was part of this / like the shaking of a thin branch / as the moth escapes her cocoon.

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