First Journey Alone


Leaving home, his head noisy
like a barn full of animals
his pulse calling to him
Hansel, Hansel.

Only a few more months and it will go away, his mother told him.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, he picked up new regressive habits:
-sucking his thumb
-pulling his hair
-blinking too often
-dreaming of wild geese pulling his arms in different directions

He ate three times his body, then nothing at all.

It will go away his mother said It will go away; he wore her leotards so often
the cloth pushed his skin closer, kissing his lethargic muscles

He opened and closed the same door to the same music: the word half in morse.
He tempered his breathing
with the sound of the wind.
There is no wind.

He found himself attracted to: older women, suffering, pine trees growing
from his teeth, waking up with his own name
feeling burnt onto the side of his torso.

There is no mother. It will go away
There once was a sister, a partner.

He always felt
1. sleepy
2. like a sore throat
3. like a disintegrating book.

He set off to find the other half
of a dead body. He set off
to find a child. There is
no child’s body.

Somebody painted his portrait, eating.
Somebody painted his portrait, sleeping on the side of the road.

There is a portrait. There is no artist.

When he called her by name, it sounded like
he was choking. The flush growing
on his cheeks was constant and looked
as though he swallowed two indigo plums.

There is no throat.
There is no no body, family. There is no Hansel.

  
  
 First Journey Alone


Leaving home, his head noisy
like a barn full of animals
his pulse calling to him
Hansel, Hansel.

Only a few more months and it will go away, his mother told him.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, he picked up new regressive habits:
-sucking his thumb
-pulling his hair
-blinking too often
-dreaming of wild geese pulling his arms in different directions

He ate three times his body, then nothing at all.

It will go away his mother said It will go away; he wore her leotards so often
the cloth pushed his skin closer, kissing his lethargic muscles

He opened and closed the same door to the same music: the word half in morse.
He tempered his breathing
with the sound of the wind.
There is no wind.

He found himself attracted to: older women, suffering, pine trees growing
from his teeth, waking up with his own name
feeling burnt onto the side of his torso.

There is no mother. It will go away
There once was a sister, a partner.

He always felt
1. sleepy
2. like a sore throat
3. like a disintegrating book.

He set off to find the other half
of a dead body. He set off
to find a child. There is
no child’s body.

Somebody painted his portrait, eating.
Somebody painted his portrait, sleeping on the side of the road.

There is a portrait. There is no artist.

When he called her by name, it sounded like
he was choking. The flush growing
on his cheeks was constant and looked
as though he swallowed two indigo plums.

There is no throat.
There is no no body, family. There is no Hansel.  



Christine Jessica Margaret Reilly