“The body your arms still long for dead or not. You were intimate with every muscle, privy to the eyelids moving in sleep. This is the body where your name is written, passing into the hands of strangers.”
— Jeanette Winterson
or: a letter to her physicians
her survival snapped,
clashed with the fame of your whiteness
the click of wrists, of hospital bands, a matter of ideology, deafened.
your collective lethargy fused with sporadic bursts of
000000open fire ended her
her cold body to be eventually tagged as
if at a ski lift
but let’s go back:
two years after her diagnosis,
it was winter, the calcium of her in agony
cancer swimming through her bones and
you refused to x-ray dared conjecture:
00000000000moans of post-menopause
and it was months before the shadow revealed itself000000000000too late, too late
a music mother-love whistling near a wick laced
0000and i think of her body00000000000000that is to say, the echo.
fundamentally wanting to live as some other form
0000it was delirious wasn’t it to endure skin as a fading
conversation a repression
. . .
i want to burn your schoolhouse down! these lessons like
taut hair elastics.
because the fundamental is your sit-down wizardry failed to save her her surface shivering.
and so a white-out: her private leopard text, a saturday, dissolved.
0000000000I went to pieces
— Michèle Katrina Thorsen