drop down, slip from the trail where a tunnel of earth carries you to the river. it is a clear- cold night lit by ice and stars: you cut through the layers of this world with a laugh like wood splitting. you have a hill for flying, a month with two moons, and a mouthful of blood. you need only a house of sticks and stones on the outskirts of the town. they keep a distance uninvited, just how you like it— but want to learn how to sit with eyes closed listening to the dew become frost. you remember: life seemed so grey when your cheeks were still pink. there are so many colours their eyes cannot yet see.
cling to what you should forget (hands dug in, hanging from a cliff edge— repeat each terrible detail: twisted, melted, cracked / metal, hair, fourteen ribs) reports enlarge themselves inside your head. you hold this image high—make it your banner, how you tear at the scraps until your teeth and nails break brittle. all your rage pools into boils, weighs you down a little more each year—red-edged poison waiting for scalpel and flame.
blue stains scattered
these marks define you in little ways each one a moment lifted from the dark of a slow walk home at 3AM: you are the creature in the street when sensible people sleep and you wake with a new piece of evidence clinging to your arms, your belly, or your legs like wave-washed barnacles like a flood of nightclub lights after the last song ends. there are no bloodstains, only blue stains to fill the pale valleys of your body and each day’s lack of breath against the mirror.
Kate Garrett lives in England and has a significant folklore, history, and horror obsession. Her writing is widely published – most recently in The Spectre Review, Green Ink Poetry, and Feral – and has been nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize. Find her at www.kategarrettwrites.co.uk or on Instagram @thefolklorefaery