Freya Jackson is a young writer from Leeds (England). She has previously been published on writing maps and empty oaks.
I loved her like I loved August sunshine. That kind of red sunshine,
That fizzes beneath the skin. There is nothing in this world quite like her sunshine.
Let me call her beloved and build bridges from the honey stick of her throat
Because when she calls back her words are always the viscous sweet spread of sunshine.
Sometimes she hides somewhere beneath her skin a thousand clouds
That she tugs against her eyes, and looks at me like black-lead sunshine.
But I love her even when she carries herself like empty skies,
I am the cold lightless moon, and even in her coldest days she sets me aglow like sunshine
She calls down to me: Freya, why do you obsesses so about the edges of halcyon days
The only thing to do is live in them - lace around yourself like the golden threads of sunshine.
This is the part which I pray to The Lord my God:
They call him O Doctor of Repetition
Return has often been known as a symptom of
This holy atrophy
I have seen him eight times before to pray for a miracle
Each time he has taken himself inside another Earthly Body,
Each time he spoke with the same voice of uniformity
This is the place of pilgrimage and I come to him prostate
And then we stand questionnaire to questionnaire
The promised cup of ambrosia is offered and I am thirsty in the same way that salt water is
And that is all I taste
That same corner of the Red Sea given to all ardent believers
Because he does not know any cure for drowning but the ocean that bit you.
He recites the Lord’s Prayer stopping me at all the dirty bits
And all I can say is yes, sanding down my tongue until I am a shade of the word.
How holy are the Godless
Who get their miracles from Tesco Clubcard points
And I have often been an atheist
Know my sickness comes from cannibalism
I never did get the hang of resurrection
But it is the only way I can live again
I can see my discarded bones in the anatomy of a Church
The way the stain-glass windows all match his PR scheme,
The half hidden office without an ocean
Where they measure meekness against inheritance claims
I know I am blessed,
Been given benediction often enough I can recite it
Feast on empty syllables that do not let my stomach settle.
And I know the correct paperwork to file for divine intervention
And I know all he can hear is scripture but I cannot make my tongue twist around any sound but humanity
So I speak with my throat jammed shut.
But he knows this trick,
And gives me a sword instructs me not to swallow it
And I tell him that is impossible because I spend all my time at circuses but he still will not
Give me bread to better consume all of my sharp edges
And I still must eat because resurrection is the only way to live again
These are Holy Words
He tells me in the thin line of his pen-stroke that I am the most blessed of all his sheep
Because I still cannot find myself
We do not need words, he and I,
He has seen me undress myself nine times now
Is familiar with all my secrets and has already made a note
Of all the things I will say, he is sure
This process is just ritual
That bit where I go O God O God O God please I'm so unhappy
He is pleased I am acting so correctly today
And rewards me with another patronising smile.
He tells me about the new-bound promise of Heaven
Tells me that too is miraculous
But I am still holding out for my Miracle
I tell him again of reincarnation
And he smiles like AutoCorrect, gives me flesh for resurrection
Resurrection is the only way I can live again
The key is obedience
But we are not on the same wavelength
He asks if I was expecting him to do anything else
I reply that I wasn't expecting anything from him
I see the parched forever of a desert and all he sees is red
(That was the exhortation)
Please God I'm scared
Please God. I don't want to come back here anymore.
(That was the yearning)
He hears but finds himself and his holiness impotent
Against all these prayers.
He sends in the next believer
And I walk home bone weary and alone to crawl into bed and dream of resurrection
and all the other ways of dying
Once you were so afraid of losing your grip on this world,
That you left behind deep scars of your way across it,
Clung to everything you could from your feet
All the way up to you steady shoulders,
The ones that have now shrunk you down into
An upside-down semi-colon of a man,
Now the floor sits undisturbed
So slight you walk.
A musing on the virtues of concession
I have long twinned my heart with my throat,
I am not ashamed of that. It is not shameful
To ally oneself with torchlight
But sometimes I wish I l could look at morality as land gained
At my feet all I see are bullet holes deepening into the same patch of mud.
Something in the way you draw your teeth together
Hollows me into silence as easily as isolation,
And yet I can see nothing worse than moving even a millimetre away from myself.
I resolved once to spend each day excavating everything solid down to the roots
Dig deep and find out why they caress the earth’s deep underbelly in some places, and in others dig harsh into her guts.
I believe both of these things could be equal.
He says ticket please;
this is about the train
I cannot stomach travel sickness
Lines steal-yellow-steal, waste-sites and warehouses
Stopper throat with bile
Not sick though. Sick but not the kind that passes
Projecting – to travel one place to another. A thought. Not a thought
Trains. I understand now
It goes from one place to another
A thought. Not a thought.
He says ticket please;