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.
I am sketching stagnant shadows on my legs in naked defiance, toes itching.
Thumbnail: Katherine Doyle. Bad Nora. 2012.