This poem was first published in ‘The Inkwell’ Issue VI, The University of Edinburgh’s creative writing magazine (Ed. Vickie Madden)
Drunk and in the dark she slips.
She is numb but she knows
that something has gone wrong
near the base of her back.
You’ve fractured an inoperable bone,
says the nurse. There’s no plaster cast
for this one – you’ll have to wait it out.
A month had passed since the festival.
They had sat, chin to knee,
on the dirty floor of some humid tent,
beer cups crushed beneath them,
her whole world collapsing outside.
Days passed in desperation.
Curled on the carpet, no location left
untouched by memories.
Dreams infiltrated, words cruel as bullets
lodged too deep to retract.
And now there is another fracture,
one more invisible break within her body.
A gulf quite near the start of her spine,
a hairline smarting at the end.
Not one bruise between them.