You Haven’t Choked Yet

When did you accept there was nothing in your ribcage
but dust? Did it take until the consultant cut you open

or did you trust her at the MRI? Was it earlier;
had you suspected, did you know at the first intake

of the GP’s breath when she touched the stethoscope
to your shoulder blade? Don’t cry. There’s something

I want you to see. Put your eye to the microscope:
this is your heart dust. You might need to adjust the –

– there, you’ve got it. Look at all the specks:
all of those speck hearts beating.


End note:

Today I’ve gone for a poem about how awful things can happen and you find yourself still going afterwards. I’ve got reservations about this because I know I’m speaking from a place of relative safety – that I’m scared but my life is not at risk.

There are so many people who aren’t still going, and so many who will be stopped from still going in the future – not from some lack of woo-woo shit mindful mental fortitude but because other people have enough hate or coldness in their hearts to snatch away their safety or their medication or the fucking air from their throats.

So this is a thin comfort that will apply only to some people. But if you’re reading it, you’re still going, and I hope as hard as I can that it applies to you.

(This isn’t a request for validation. This is literally the best I can do today so I’m doing it, and I’m OK with that, I just wanted to express that I’m also aware of its shortfalls.)



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