Summer Ashes

The sun has turned most of the garden crisp, stems crunching to dust between fingers when I dig in between the leaves. Still, the lavender stands as it should, scent sticky on my skin, determined to be carried home into the house. Its flowers haven’t faded yet. It doesn’t seem to bow to heat the same.

But between the lemon tree and dahlia, the herbs have taken refuge in the shadows of a water butt. There the decking still burns my feet by afternoon and moisture only lingers a little while upon the soil before vanishing. One by one they will succumb, no matter how often I tend them.

Eventually night

falls across this place and time,

soaked in the day’s heat.

Still this garden will shiver,

weeping for the storms not come.

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Hear The Ancestors Speak

There are motions that crack open the audios files inside my head. I don’t realise what they are until your voice is playing on the loudspeaker in my brain, blotting out all other thought with the echos of your absence. Salted caramel for the mind, both sweet and salty, love and tears. I will hit repeat until the lump in my throat jams the mechanism and you stutter into silence.

In the months where I’ve lost track of time, I cannot tell if you have begun to sound more like me, or if I am becoming you. Rolling the words around my mouth before I speak as if to stain them with your voice. Familiar phrases still clutter my tongue as I sift through the vowels jumbled between my teeth. You spoke so easily compared to me, I do not think anyone notices that I am using your words instead of mine.

Learning how to thread these sentences into conversations is a little like taking the waist of a dress in a few inches before learning how to sew. My first attempt was loose, hung off me in waves of excess fabrics, clearly too much for this frame to fill. Now I have perfected pinning those syllables to the slope of my belly, the valley between my breasts, the skim of thigh and knee and calf, the strain in the hollow of my throat. I can speak without catching my heels on the hem, so the words pout forth like water now. You are there in the current, but I have found how best to navigate the flood.

Roots grow down deeper,

seeking the center of it.

I am just one thread.

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