Written in isolation...by Naomi Wood
Every night since the city started inhabiting itself
Like an empty shirt-
The shape of it’s warm body barely visible-
We weave a homemade hedonism out of the bones of our old ways.
I light myself candles that I was saving for some other time.
It seems that time has finally come.
But who knew that a wild kind of quiet
Had actually been looking for me all along?
Who could have guessed that another city was rising up to meet us
Shedding it’s own skin to reveal Atlantis underneath?
In the times before, I used to feverishly wash my hands
Like I was afraid of what they might do.
I would press the light switch the exact number of times it takes to
Appease some deity into making the weather fall favourably from the sky,
Praying all the time that it wouldn’t fall down.
Intimately aware of my own monstrosity, believing I could assert some will
Over the expansion and contraction of nature in her dance.
How foolish our old fears look when something real arrives.
Yet somehow when it comes to it
We grapple tooth and claw and find we are beasts again, just the same.
Fighting and flighting. Heavy and mortal, heaving our own heft.
It has after all, always been invisible things that have brought us to our knees.
All the things we strive for like ripples in a pool,
Just wrinkles in the fabric of matter.
And all that really matters is how we are sowing the season’s harvest,
The simple divinity of watering the soil we are in.
And in return we get to hold what is given back
Up to our faces like shells filled with songs
I’m not here to tell you this was all for the best,
A lesson, destiny or retribution.
This is just a story unfolding, the coil uncurling
In intricate rings.
But whales are still leaping to meet the dawn.
Some things are always true. Some things never perish.
Like how I can hear their laughter
Ringing through the walls
And it is all I needed tonight-
A crystallised piece of raw humanity.
The best of what we are.
And how another night we sang to each other
Through the walls and doors
Knowing the things that unite us
Are more powerful than those that divide.