Word of Moth by Marion Michell

Worst days pain ricochets like shooting stars with pinball crushes. Oh the love! Coins, slot, more? Even your voice becomes unhinged, that last door. Words duck and dive, hide behind femur, kidney, clavicle. Tongue cannot reach. The keyboard hisses. Coffee cools in favourite cup. Bottoms up!

You’re braced to write, comb the lamellae of cognition for imagery and riveting rendition. Throat—all clear! Ears? Oh dear. k-k-k-consonants skive off skull-under. Skirmish-tired, they swear they’ll hitch a ride on the jugular—soon. Vowels chill in armpit hair, chafed, but jocular as hell. Later, matey! Meaning (and a foot of yours) are tethered in the hinterland.

Words flit by, some daubed with cerulean blue, others so bummered that air and atmosphere jell on you. You touch a few, you sniff in corners, you listen to the news, get hooked on alliteration loops and flimsy rhyming schemes. Still, you dare not budge for something wondrous is on fire, spits, crackles, half alive. How to catch it, make it work? You cry mutabor! mutabor! until you’re hoarse and hope (like caliph and his grand vizier) to find yourself recast (no Midas touch, mind!) with utmost verity: back in shape, the shape you departed from, upright and well-nigh spluttering. Finally fingertips alight. Your tongue, bruised, yearning, curls around condiments and continents alike. Corny? Stay aloof! Better a moth in one’s hand than a fig on the roof.

Marion Michell is a London-based visual artist & writer who has exhibited internationally. Her work is intimate and intense, lingers on thresholds. In 2015 she won first prize in the QUICK.SAND flash competition of the Berlin-based English language literary journal SAND with Cuffs & Collars. Her first book is called Supinely Sublimely.