By Romy Durrant
With artwork by Marla Celeste
orange through green
Resting I am a dog and
dreaming of police and
doors revolving towards a polite exit from living
Is this my 1000-yard stare
Pith or scabbing knee
whose pus I kiss to my ceiling each night—
contracting against the urge
to be skin, undivided.
I remembered a dream from which I woke, gasping for air, and upright.
When I touched my face I felt that it was wet and,
despite my hollow recollection,
experienced terror in its deepest capacity.
What does the mind do away from the body
for its processes to be so disconnected
that it does not recognise itself.
I am numb and prosperous:
white thrown into gold into deep black mud.
the pantograph lightning
I hear a couple kiss between footsteps
see them by a car
Faces one, hers slightly
Taller, a moment
imparting silence outside
The wet of their
slack lips closing
I grieved for 2 days. Broke up
before he gifted me art supplies. ‘Yellow’ was playing and
He cried into tissues. I walked away
When I was 12 I wrote a scene in an unfinished 11,000 word story
in which the narrator witnesses, from her bedroom window,
her parents burning to death on their front lawn
in a torrent of accelerating orange flame.
The white shadow was on fire.
Clinging to another blue shadow.
They were both on fire.
I am tired and carefully engulfed in grease, flour, latex.
My skin is cracked, resilient.
All these parts couldn’t make a quiet body.
If my blood were prisoner to earth and not sky
I remember nothing
belonging to space and shuttled dreams.
When I lost my teeth, I’d put them in a tiny ceramic pot with a tooth fairy on the lid,
in exchange for gold coins. I did the same with my scabs. When one was
ready, I’d pick it off and lay it inside the pot, like a dried flower petal.
These things that fall, they aren’t helicopters. They have only one blade,
and drift from trees all over the street
— carried by the wind in spirals, across gutters, to rest at my front door.
In my hands, they hold like tissue.
Under my nose, they smell of nothing.
If I were smaller, I’d kiss and name them, one by one.
She saw the two shadows once again, standing amongst the bloody corpses of
two hundred dead children with necks hanging loosely from their burnt, blackened bodies
and their eyes – reflected with flames — casting red beams…
Romy Durrant is a writer from Melbourne. Her work has appeared and is forthcoming in The Lifted Brow, Voiceworks Magazine, Scum Mag, The Bohemyth, Shabby Doll House and Electric Cereal. You can find her at @miseryclit / romywiththehomies.tumblr.com.
Marla Celeste is a visual artist currently based in China. Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Spook Magazine, and Catalyst Magazine. @marlacelesticle / marlaceleste.com