by Annie Blake

for my husband, my children

CC0 Public Domain


she follows me like the children strung up during the war they teach my children that soldiers were honorable only women are left some tear up letters some tear up floorboards
with the hooks of hammers he told me he pulled out a fist of nails a porcupine
i tell him that mothers would rather kill their children than not have anything to eat fathers eventually give what they can’t even if they never die to war
we are not meant to save the world or live on mars he laughs for the wheel of fortune
is fast and subliminal but crying wheels are also round and trains don’t ever run out
of steam
i stand between a wall and a boom gate intrapsychicity and my interpersonal world collude step into song i play the organ’s keys with my right hand and even with my left the pedals with my feet i wait for the train’s hum the angels are singing now
they always have i’m in a trance plagued by bodies catapulted in the middle of the next city square and biological warfare we have fixed this cadence sealed her song anosognosia the acoustic range of the sea is an entirely different matter we are already flying into the other world
we take them to war like he wants us to i wait till the steam dresses the sky i don’t look
at windows actually lately i have how some tug on their collars children tug
at their thighs i never touched my father that way he’s on the train he half knows
that soldiers are not integrated enough to deliver their promised rain percepts
can be unconscious he knew but he just couldn’t lift his eyes before the rise of the gate i wait for the other black carriages to pass rolling back their round wheels of tombs i hold
a string tie it around my chest cross it over for strength the calvary cross tatzenkreuz for they walk with their feet not the swastika for the west has blackened the cross forever diwali children the cross pattee their feet look more like the cradle of a candelabrum
how they follow me across the tracks my husband tells me he loves me i open my head
into the sky my daughter looks just like him my other daughter looks just like his mother my son is divergent just like me
he lifts the stub of a rose colored candle we forgot that candles were once alived by fire
the rain can feel as sharp as icicles i always blunt the sharp ends of sticks to avoid injury
to the eye god’s rod sticks of conversions my mother’s mop hair like medusa
my father thought that if he smacked me hard enough i would turn into a butterfly he smacked our dog with a bat until he killed it i don’t know the real reason he didn’t take him to the vet i could hear them at the dead side of the house it wasn’t really dead my mother’s impatiens grew there green and quick like the color of witch’s skin
up the stairs in the tower he shows me candles the re-emergences of their upward falls sometimes i only see dark mouths of the rocking cradles of chalices the dawn rises
with its sweet yellow bread open moist mouths of starlings threadbare skins veins like skeins
she comes to eat me when i’m alone and i wonder now whether i was right to want to give her my body that way given the choice i would rather give her the time to chew deep enough to lead them across the show unfold peripheral and lateral vision unpin nails
to make arms as strong as wood scarf joints with keys trim their nails
even though i have often cut too far i am sorry to see the sting in their eyes not sorry
to burn my own hands on their water faces
i count how they come back for me
that i can die must mean that i can live
as i walked with him i noticed my bag was open paper clips fall out white pebbles
in the snow fathers who leave their children in the woods to die often eat off their riches
even if their stepmother dies too only the father can save me now i was young
in those days so was he the boy who promised he loved me i let things fall out
of my arms my guilt sticking like nails into his cross
the ego is high-pitched notes on the treble clef the world of illusion many people confuse illusion with allusion denotations i exhume children from asphalt graves for connotations sometimes psychiatrists are unable to differentiate between transference and the meshing
of transference with countertransferential affect the unconscious the bass clef voices
of men who can fly ego smoke curling its dust figs or figments into clouds
like white hair from the factory the ego flashes like the siren of a police car the corner shop opens its mouth its ejection i’m a dvd it makes me play whatever it wants me to see
my mother made me a swing on a balcony she ate in a room from the street i walk up
the stairs hold onto the balustrades brahmadanda the rising windows of city bridges
are so beautifully fragile i tell myself i will break them if i walk across i asked my husband if we should give our girl a wall instead of a canvas art should never wrap nor enclose the roofs of houses are tightly pulled in by thick sewing thread skin like corrugated iron the church spire needles up one way to heaven
i have bought myself spotted black stockings the contagiousness of chicken pox evocation of a proxy a woman keeps trying to sell me a vintage hat with a bow it is waterproof
and everlasting like the scales of fish i walk off on her she smiles i smile as my daddy takes photos of me while i wade into the river he wants me to wear her hat the water
is in black and white monochrome my hat is aqua i am 25 years younger than i really am i don’t have to watch for rocks under the surface
i remind myself i’m safe now that i don’t have to let the memory take me it is a memory from the past not a current event it is what i feel when i remember i didn’t understand
what i did that my mother and father would never love me again sometimes i believe
i can go for a day trusting my inner tuition instead of years thinking i don’t understand
the hours that wake up a word the memory of my feelings roll back a smaller wheel
my father never really took photos of me wading into a river and i never really smiled
after middle school i used to just stare at things like he did i do remember him with black hair he smiled in a video recording once and once i saw him cry
my mother is cooking stew her knuckles white in her face hollow contours
her eyes hard rounds of nails jawline like her father’s her lips open jarred and bone dark cave she always wore old woman clothes i used to pray in a convent
because she was made to marry a man instead when i woke up and she was gone i opened my hands and felt for the spot on her table where the pot kept it warm
parietal art hand stencils communication is possible through rock walls i shine the light on the animal painting and the shadow forms the whole picture my ancestors
must have known that spirits come from the good and evil side of god
bird men heads men have beautiful arms solid curvature with the peeking tongues
of branches how they open their beaks their translucent lids when the rain flows
we call them flowers they pick them from the field the way he bows his elbows
and heaves into my pits the new birds will come to eat
people don’t need to hide behind the door they don’t even have to speak for hardly anything i see makes me laugh anymore it occurred to me like jack out of his box
i am the wood i lay the swivels of my wrists mobility of my hips i am blocks timber of forearms brachioradialis there is no need to convert anything
city buildings erections in the sky sucking whatever water is left cellophane windows pillars propping up the ceiling of the sky windows decks of cards shuffled and worn out by players winter is the time of the yellow lights in the city they hang like stars
my ancestors hang them from their arms out of their fingertips starlings so i can drive forward into the road like a spade shoveling snow their safe hand is what i owe
the creases in palms fingers old river and sanctuary roads
i unpack my bag in hospital a photo of my child the sanction of my wings on her back
and her smile
to remind me why i need to come home



Annie Blake is an Australian writer and divergent thinker. She is a wife and mother of five children. She started school as an EAL student and was raised and, continues to live in a multicultural and industrial location in the West of Melbourne. Her research aims to exfoliate branches of psychoanalysis and metaphysics. She is currently focusing on in medias res and arthouse writing. She enjoys exploring symbology and the surreal and phantasmagorical nature of dreams. She is a member of the C G Jung Society of Melbourne and Existentialist Society in Melbourne. You can visit her on and

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