Magdalena Ball’s ‘Transmission’

If you were looking for a sign or excuse
to stay where you are

that particular
ray of light, a twitch at the small
of your back, the downward slant
darkening eyes in the mirror
warm sun pretending to be gentle
half blooming crocuses
swing chair creaking
dead bees floating on the cold
pool, death against life.

My body has grown heavier
weighted by memory
competing languages
an accumulation of cells
an accretion of blows
all people and all things
swallowed down and carried
small densities, big plans
Inertia taking me further towards
the centre point.

You cannot separate the words
from the culture
the motion of the mouth
how it shapes the features
changing thought, perception
you cannot unlearn
only hide, pretend
that you have always been
will always be safe.

My ancestors would have
happily buried that history
into the sweet earth
along with their bones
picked clean of anything valuable:
jewellery, gold fillings, hair, nutrients
but we can’t help touching
tongue against missing tooth.
The gap draws us down, down.

Somewhere there; here
is an answer
transmitted into sound
a humming that might be wind
second life, second soul
the lullaby you can almost sing
by heart, though you’ve never
heard it before
In this lifetime

mother, are you in that breeze

teaching me
how to let go?