You can’t get there by thinking.

You can only wait it out, fake your faith,

flop like a lung beside your other –

taking in the same air as if you had no names,

watch flowers collapse and turn soggy

feel the mulch rise up in your bronchi


You can’t think your way there

but one day you’ll wake up and know:

you’ll know it in the knot where you breathe

in the beating pattern that rules you

in forty-six strands of amino on repeat

you’ll know it without words, logic or pity


Then you’ll get up, get it done, get out,

burst out of the water and throw your hair back

mermaid slick, a mercury mistress.

Gulp down oxygen like sunrise after storm,

piss away the dirty water, rise onto land,

walk through the city on rose petals


Yes, those leaves may be soggy now

but in six months’ time you will teach them to bloom.

You will allow the air to breathe

and be that which brings life into the room.

You will be that sunlight slice in your chest,

the badass beat beat beat in your step


the nucleic pulse that is the start of all music.


This poem is my January contribution to the Being Bodies project: a creative exploration of our physicality, one body part at a time, curated by Richard Watkins and Sarah Lowe.