Articulated silence because nobody’s talking. There’s dung
on the roadside, it’s clawing into my tear ducts
and arching my patience like a cat who, regrettably, must stand up.
Agreeing to come wasn’t like a handshake between friends
when it’s that or you won’t be able to choose when to leave.
When it’s that or you won’t be able to choose when enough
is so far beyond enough that breaking a finger on a bedside table
just to stay alert seems the only option.
The hedgerows canter
peripherally. My lips bent and swollen, no longer able to jigsaw
together. I’ve never been this way before in a car.
I don’t know
if I can come this way again, now.
Now that I’ve been brought, less than willing.
Now that I’m hollering past hills and harrowing my heart
like an avocado crushed for toast.
I can’t feel my toes anymore,
they’ve been coiled and pressed too long,
petals between pages. Unfit for purpose, for pollinating,
but maybe useful for decoration.
Betsie Flynn (she/her) lives on a council estate in Wales where she grapples with mental health issues, but is lucky enough to see mountains from her bedroom window. Her husband, children, and cats are wonderful. She has been known to tweet @betsieflynn