Nora Byrne
mia.jpg

Words

Arts, Arabic, Adventures

الغرام

Peace, on occasion.

It's in quietly scratching pencils, washes of ink and coloured freckles on the floor. I’m pigeon-toed, in and out, falling asleep with mind, toes, hips.

I laugh in silent giggles, yawn on the inside and smile with my ears. I focus on the itch until it goes away or gets worse. 

I itch for secondhand polyesters. Glossy, cheap, they’re studded with burn holes; lace unravels by my thighs.

I wear them like skin. They peel partway to fall over furniture, immortalized in paint shining emerald around my skin. I trade them for long skirts to twist into sanguine columns of cotton.

Peace then, now chaos. Push me, pull me, if I am on a track I can’t help glancing back.

There I am, throwing roses to matadors. There I am unrepentant, goblet in hand. There I languish before steamships, exposed and guarded and dreamlike. 

Rooms come and go; some lush and studded with ceramics others papered with paintings. Clutter is nothing, clutter is discovery, clutter is bent brushes, and aging Appalachian pigment.

I gaze comfortably at mantles littered with memories, lit with fire and sun. I read ceiling insulation in Spartan spaces with cold-studded skin. I curl on worn sheets with my electric dragon growling heat toward my toes.

Peace, itch. Never better, or worse.

There is no time to focus, but it bleeds into nostalgia. I fight desert nature with the secrets of bare skin itching under silk.

Defiant in front of the mirror I turn pen to paper. I scratch portrait after portrait but there’s little peace in moving hands, no contrast in fluorescents, no tape on the floor.

Self Portrait trying to regain healthy body image. 11.1.2017

Self Portrait trying to regain healthy body image. 11.1.2017

I am sketching stagnant shadows on my legs in naked defiance, toes itching.

 

Thumbnail: Katherine Doyle. Bad Nora. 2012.