Theme III: Future, “Fantastic”

By Emma Dollery

Stuck solidly in the crumbling of all that may be
will be
could be
has to be told –
in between the single folds –
skin cells break and tear and tattle on me.

Don’t tell them about your age
she said
sway it backwards, forwards, allthewaywards
anywhere but here
anyhow but now
Now.

Under them, lift them up
she said with a peculiar twist in her moving mouth
turning, burning, churning words.
Crinkled down to the core.
Firm nothing is a shell that you must free yourself of.

Lift them,
dust beneath the crevasses of your own folding skin.
Who else is going to?

Not me,
not he who told you that you’d die together
Banjo on a porch holding hands
in the blue and pink golden hour that hides now
inside of your wrinkles.
He lied to you
inside of you
a touch of seedling hate is growing.
Not bigger but more and more
bittersweet.
You’ve cut out sugar
and you’re trying to get thin again,
trying to begin again,
But maybe there is no hope
and you have your coffee like you have your lovers.
Let me be bitter because I had a dream once.
I woke up to a mouth full of blood like a gut-punch to the gutter
my teeth fluttered down my chin
And left my mouth an O
Oh, the tragedy of an everlasting scream that continued forward
And forward
And forward
Backwards, allthewaywards. Until I was dead.

So lift them up and let the sunshine where it don’t.
Don’t arse around, I’m not kidding here
They need lifting and taping and plastic
that way when you look like you’re melting
it will be the real thing.
So don’t let them tell you you’re a fake.
Break down
All around the fact that one-day your teeth may fall from your face
and maybe you’ll sink into a puddle of atomic remains

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