Proof of Existence
I see myself, vanishing
round the corner at the end of the street.
I am only one hello! away, yet did I speak?
So many sounds to fill the silent hours!
That cannot be my back view. That poor bitch
is stooped, a listing hull. I see cracks,
spidering out from every step –
her feet are plasma balls. Her hair is static.
Journeys I almost remember taking have left
footfall, clear as cut-outs.
I dog them, map the shed of skin cells.
I left a hair, can see it,
snagged on winter privet, this stem of DNA,
waving in eight o’clock wind.
There is a root hole on my scalp, missing its strand –I can feel it, put my finger
on the exact place. She steals my things.
I never found those shoes – the ones with sling-back straps.
Maybe I gave them to her. I forget. She was a girl
who laughed on crowded trains.
I am ever burbling into nothing, though I feel
the smudge of conversation on my gums. Sentences
taste all marmalade, bitter-sweet, sour-skin chunks.
I feel like I’ve been here before I feel like
I’ve been here before. My situations are a double-slit experiment.
A smile in the mirror – I saw it, turned to catch it.
It was gone. I must have stretched it out.
My muscle memory tells me that I made such beams –
possibly, she made them back. She may have waved
at a passing bus – I sometimes do. May be buying potatoes,
posting a letter. If she is anything like me she will be
ten steps ahead, or ten behind, slipping through parted air.
About the writer:
Jane Burn is an writer originally from South Yorkshire, who now lives and works in the North East, UK. Her poems have been featured in magazines such as The Rialto, Under The Radar, Butcher’s Dog, Iota Poetry, And Other Poems, The Black Light Engine Room and many more, as well as anthologies from the Emma Press, Beautiful Dragons, Seren, and The Emergency Poet. Her pamphlets include Fat Around the Middle, published by Talking Pen and Tongues of Fire published by the BLER Press. Her first full collection, nothing more to it than bubbles has been published by Indigo Dreams. She has had four poems longlisted in the National Poetry Competition between 2014 – 2017, was commended and highly commended in the Yorkmix 2014 & 2015, won the inaugural Northern Writes Poetry Competition in 2017, and came second in the Welsh International Poetry Competition 2017.
Image: “Caught by the Sky” by Agnieszka Dabrowska. Acrylic and oil on canvas. 80 cm X 60 cm. 2017. By permission. Dabrowska was born in Krasnobrod, Poland, studied at Zielona Gora Art Institute and lived for a time in Puglia, Italy. She has been living in UK since 2004 and exhibiting both in the UK and Poland. Her works were long-listed in Aesthetica Magazine, Creative Artworks and are featured in Saatchi online.