I


I'm writing a poem for every letter of the alphabet this #NaPoWriMo, and I've reached the letter 'I'.

You can read the poems for the first eight letters here: A B C D E F G H

'I' is conjectured to have been derived from a Phoenician symbol for an arm. This reminds me of a mysterious line from Twin Peaks - "I am the arm". The letter was also the Roman numeral for '1' and closely resembles the equivalent arabic numeral.

When I began writing this this morning, strange inversions occurred such as the trackpad on my laptop suddenly scrolling up and down in the opposite direction to normal - and the 'I' of the title turned red when I replaced yesterday's 'H' with it. I've decided to keep the red.


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I

Leaving the old house and its charred garden
behind, you decide - what else?
To follow the hare over the stile.

However, you have to hesitate when
holding on to the topmost bar, you can’t help but notice:
the front of your fingers have disappeared.

You draw them back, and they reappear.
Put them back on the stile and they’re gone again.
Your hand feels normal the whole time… itself. Complete.

Tentatively, you try putting your entire hand
beyond the fence – sure enough, it vanishes,
your arm finishing sharply in mid-air
and there’s a movement in the field ahead – the hare?
But you’re barely conscious of that, understand-
-ably your focus is on your hand (or lack of hand).

Weird as this looks, it feels fine… so you go for it,
drawing your elbow back to punch the air ahead…
…and in that same spot in the field, you see it –
your arm - punch out of the ground
in a straight vertical line.

You lean forward to investigate – and as you do –
your eyes cross the boundary
and I’m looking back at you, from in the field.

I’m looking back at you, crossing the stile.
This is weird - and I can see you hesitate -
but I have to do this now.
I have to see what’s out here.
I put my hand down on the soil, and
bring the other one through with it.
Putting them both down flat, I push myself up
from out of the earth,
and watch you disappear. I keep going until the whole body is mine.
I’m standing out here
on this broken patch of land beyond the hedgerow,
a line,
and there’s nobody there where you were.

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