Saturday, 16 June 2018

'Aerial' by Helen Rye

This place we’ve lived in, you and me, its walls are saturated, warped with words we flung that missed their mark, the windows foxed from sheltering our special kind of tightly-knit unhappiness. It has been rendered us-shaped, and returned the favour.

Our house has grown into our bones: the shape of the rooms, the spaces we left between us, they will not lightly let us go. We move around like ghosts, bound to bricks and memories, never touching one another; rest our foreheads against glass and watch as others climb and loop outside, airborne.

You didn’t mean to put down roots here, but they reached inside of you, and you’ve been like a bird ensnared in briers that wove around it, pinioned its wings and caged the sun-washed air above with thorns so that it threw itself against them til it bled.

Some birds sing with their feathers, soaring, if they catch the air right. You have been silent for so long.

We strip wallpaper, scrub the plaster raw, break all the windows with our fists. Fresh gusts scour us. The house sighs out.

We stand apart across the kitchen, flayed. Outside, the wind will go right through us, but you will ride it.

And I, I climb the windowsill and find that I can breathe.


  1. Anne Summerfield16 June 2018 at 10:23

    'Some birds sing with their feathers' - so gorgeous, as is the whole piece.

  2. This has a beautiful prose poem feel to it - beautiful language. Loved it.

  3. Wow. Love this. Gorgeous language, and touching because of your sense of place woven in and out of a long standing relationship.

  4. Thank you so much, you guys - means a lot from such beautiful writers <3


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