I remember you as lemon-thyme and scorched grass, endless knives of wet grass through my wriggling toes, stinking summer grass dotted with frail daisies, sunlight that streamed onto me like melted butter. I remember the feeling of angel hair through my clasping fingers, the webs of early autumn made iridescent with silvery sunshine; I remember the sound of police cars that slapped down the oil-wet roads and unleashed steaming sirens. I remember the occasional clench of my fists around private stashes in the semi-darkness of illegal nights, I remember highs like sanguine Sudanese sunrises, I remember every drip of you on the molten carpet, I remember the bitter taste of you on my tongue, I remember I remember I remember. I cannot forget. Dreams like pink bridal shrouds haunt me – these nights I am always laid flat with a palmful of pills, butter-soft on the carpet, never hacking blood into the toilet, or passing out as my desperate mother slaps my blue- tinged cheek in a taxi to the hospital. I am never explaining myself to judgmental staff, or sitting stiff in a room marked ‘OD’, naloxone still noisy and abhorrent in my veins. No, in my memory it is always summer, and we twist together like a daisy chain, weak as anything, but oh so beautiful.
< previously published by Opia Lit, After the Flood Comes the Apologies (debut), Nine Pens Press >
Naoise Gale is an autistic poet from the U.K. who writes confessional and experimental poetry discussing mental illness, addiction and identity. Her debut pamphlet After the Flood Comes the Apologies was published by Nine Pens last year, and her first full collection IMPLODE EXPLODE is due out with Beir Bua Press in October. You can find more of her work on Twitter at @NaoiseGale13.