I stacked three pillows, made sure
my head was heavy with bills, wine, yesterday’s
deadline, and I slept hard, tight
as cement on my left arm. The needles came.
At dawn, I dragged it
like a salmon from under my body.
A part of me is dead. Now
I can shake my own hand,
meet myself again for the first time.
How my fingers feel to one another, strangers,
for a tingling moment, I am another.
Promise? This time will be different.
Image © Lucy Portsmouth
This is an excerpt from My Darling from the Lions by Rachel Long. Shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award 2021.