The other one of me died before I was born. They thought that was all but no, a cat was killed the day I was born out of that chamber I'd shared with a corpse. My danger was drowned, but the waving veil black butterflies aren't real so can't be pressed under glass. Even when a schoolgirl thought I should know the runt of the litter always dies, so my own would be soon. The slow breeze wings amused me enough not to rattle those close to reality who whispered my saviour behind the door. The shade of those wings a relief from sun dried smiles of childhood.
The outline of a heart on my sole, where I walked through the skin of my foot. My chosen protection eggshell blue mothballs from my grandmother's hatbox, my favourite place. A special treat to look inside the mahogany keeper of her Sunday best. Remember the mothballs to scare bugs from the cloth to keep me prettily covered, even if I'm eaten with holes. The more livid a dress shouts, the less words I'd have to find. The first drops of celebrated death, each a glistening bead fell from between my legs. She's out wearing holocaust cross and David's star. In time moulding my skin grown around, like grandmother's wedding ring, the meaning forgotten when doctors asked if they could cut the band.
The mirror with rust creeping around the edges more and more. A whole new picture in creation, the space for your reflection getting smaller. A meeting with old times, nothing seems to have changed. When the photograph is developed it's see through and grainy, a ghost who looks the same as someone you once knew.
I continue to walk, so one day I'll see marsh fire. I hope to have time to lift my skirts and drag all my shadows clear of the flames, so I can prise the wrought iron stitch work from my ankles and stand amongst my shadows. My legion, who may fight for me, or not. Is my creation so grand they could not see my nice cosy iron maiden with spikes poised at my gut if I got any fatter?
I am no oriflamme or electric blue. Nor can I carry the insanity and disease and sordid offences from a century before. I'll break the line, the bottle of tainted blood smashed and drained. I'll stay at the party until I tire, my vodka switched for water when no one is looking. And if again I see a stream flowing with petrol, the crime of liquid peacocks, I will gaze on this poisoned wonder once again and calm myself, for I am not to blame. Then unfurl behind me streamers of ultra violet, cobalt and emerald, through the church yard of oatmeal gravestones, worn clean of inscription, but the deaths head raised in definition.
One day I sat on the beach, the sea serene, my thoughts milky. An old woman walking from the water, her sodden swim suit the colour of a surgical bandage, fallen down to her thighs. I turned my face away, but to see a Japanese girl walk from the water, her blood running over her cheeks. I invisible, one east, one west, only I aware of exposure and blood.
Some days I feel too exposed and raw myself. What will she do next time, go naked? No, the bravado of nudity is the greatest shield of all. I'd rather wear a burka, just me, skin, hair, meat beneath and no one would know who I am. Invisible, solid, black shape…… Until my time to die. I may burst open, my bed a mass of fleshy, bruised and weeping orchids, rare and grown wild. Or I might just fade until I'm ashen, a fine rust of blood. A contour of lace, more air than threads. Unable to stretch into life, but complete. Gone, without the dust of a dream.