I wish I’d been born in the dark.
Not the punctured black of evening sky,
or the shadows in a lightless house by night,
not a blindfold or a cave of bats,
the gloom of a closing storm,
not even the dark behind your purple eyelids,
but true dark,
the dark of the body inside,
an ocean floor without the green of ocean
where I’d learn to feel properly –
tongue, hands, toes,
even my eyelashes probing the air.
And when at last they hauled me out,
a squinting, dazzled paleface,
sunshine would grate like sandpaper,
I’d be split by light that cuts to the quick
and every night would dream my sightless dreams,
each dawn a curtain.
Boys, staring through telescopes
at all the constellations, would make me weep;
each tear the casting down of stones,
waiting for a click that never answers.
A drawing based on the poem 'Night Shift' by Helen Mort.
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