Containment spell | by Alison Graham


Self & my self get weightless in the skinning that is the lay of it & window reflections & pocket mirror

reflections & the pronouns are not quite made for this though self cannot say to why

but there is the lifting & the landing & & & &


                                                                                           in a glasshouse. weary. self waters

                                                                                           the plants that self might pull the leaves from them.

                                                                         cosmonaut. drink some water. & & & &

playground. arc of the swing. it knows to double back. it knows that to harvest to the root is to dig and eat.

crushing prickles into the tongue’s bend. see the buds rose. hostage flush

against the tiles.

self feels the approach of the loosening. wildebeests, a confusion, beginning in no one place.



when sweating,

it is mostly radiator water. behind doors are islands & if self strains

the candles establish in my self’s ears like old times. in the wicks there is somehow

a feeling

of blame. pigmentation in the night time,

cupping in self’s abdomen

promise. my self is unpinned again. if self stands my self will walk quite far. aching

narcoleptic in deep height, in tableau space that self against the wishes of my self refuses

to shear. washing sloughs away hours and perfume. self’s vocal range does not climb

to many afternotes. my self will walk quite far. self’s navel is concave

and frankly vulnerable, open as peeled fruit.

enfleurage & hinging on the wall which is

                                                                              of course

                                                                              fuzzing. paying the rent. heart is soap knitted together. calm

ruins & &

quiet music. the way down is heaviness, cosmonaut. cosmonaut,

my self, must. sharing the mud & leaving self. cosmonaut this is not

what self were made for. it takes mechanical lungs                           which is how

self can know my self is to be

                                                                                                                        down. floating.

self has always self’s tether. there are alphabets beside this and maybe couched in one of those

are the words, soundly asleep in what they are containing.  syllable by syllable my self go back

down & a syllable is in fact a tap and smack of the hand and my self is down

cosmonaut. my self is unhelmeted.

||| equally in the alphabets beside this maybe there are not the adequate words |||

||| but anyway there is a way down into & & .         hold on it |||

                                                                                                      to it |||

                                                                                               i am held together and holding. |||



Alison Graham is based in Norwich, UK; her work has appeared in/on ZARF and 3:AM Magazine. She can be found on Twitter as @A__Graham.