Action is the best antidote to despair – “UNEARTHED”, James Bradley, Meanjin.com
When I opened my mouth to describe to her
the glacial mire of my mind,
an iceberg fell out,
in the middle of my counsellor’s box room.
Her pursed lips loosened;
eyebrows rose like a tide.
Hold it like an inner child, she suggested
pointing with the tip of her pen.
I leaned in from the fold-out sofa-bed
with the kind of tentative hug
you’d give at an office party
you weren’t invited to
while clocks ticked deadlines on both walls
and the patterns of lost continents
surfaced in drips on my shirt
until, having claimed surface area,
the water crawled up the shorelines of the room,
passed marks of a child’s growth on the doorframe
reading Venice, Amsterdam, London, New York.
We laughed about 90’s disaster movies
like we weren’t in one.
Her smile fell to rest like dust and I wondered,
do counsellors get CPD for stuff like this?
How safe can she make this space, really?
Is it triggering to know it’s not just the world inside my head that’s on fire anymore?
Can she hear the whipping permafrost crack,
gun-slinging across the room as well?
Does she smell the same billowing popping candy of forest fires snap from downstairs?
Is she woken to the harmonium drone of bulldozers marching in the street,
Seems somethings are meant to thaw,
while all that’s frozen,
seems it’ll never melt
until it does.