The Lady, Regent’s Park, 2008
Breathing, concentrating on her breathing as she lies naked on the bed, taking air in in slowly through parted lips, consciously filling her lungs to bursting point and holding
___________________ before the exhale, jagged, out through her nose, letting the air flow run over her body as the duvet lies rumpled at the side, a barrier against spreading out, taking more of the mattress than her body quietly requires.
___________________ and so on, now very aware of the currents changing subtly as they plunge down past her chin and whirl in her clavicle, flushing over and around her breasts before dissipating, only a reminder of the cold wind making it as far as her stomach, calming. ______________ The self-awareness is almost too fantastic at this stage, her heartbeat thumps up the sheets and into the pillow, it seems, because it’s more interesting to think of it that way than to just accept that there is no other sound in this room than her respiration ________________ it’s not confined to that though now, the catalogue grows behind her eyes: pressure of right forearm inside of skin as it grows against wrist and elbow; throb in feet left by the daily padding on concrete; flicker of painful sensation in front teeth after coffee starts creeping into crevices and cavities; _______ burning itch of leg hair growing back through pores post-shave on shins and calves;______________ tug at cheek from bruising after tripping into the handrail on the W3
__________________________ Sleep, when it comes, an extension. Clothes in dreams take on the qualities of this constant airflow, as if painted onto the space three millimeters above her skin. _______________ The pillow so comfortable it can only be dirt and grass. __________ Moonlight and starlight newly made a sun in slumber.
© Matthew Sheret, 2008