poem for a journey

& right now I'm
pinned, quartered
like a medieval suicide at a crossroad,
trying to stretch myself
along every path at once

the stake in my heart prevents me
from choosing one:
if I tug it out there'll be a hole
severed arteries & red-raw edges

(people will peer
right through me for a dollar)

but removed
the splintery stake could steady me going uphill
in winter, against the wind playing its tin-whistle
inside my muscle & veins

when I'm lonely I'll bend
right over, put my ear against
the open mouth in my chest,
hear it whisper
like the ocean in a conch shell

seeds will plant themselves
in my flesh, roots curling
round bone & vital organs
green shoots emerging through skin,

flowers blooming
in my eyes & the palms of my hands

then come spring, birds
will nest inside me, their babies
bald, squawking,
hungry for life


Originally published as 'Untitled' in Voiceworks magazine, edition 68, autumn 2007. Express Media Publications.