What we bear by Leanne O’Sullivan


What We Bear


It is December and she is barefoot.

She has packed her things, her jewels,

dirty laundry strewn on my bedroom floor

since I was born. I hear her closing

the bathroom door, switching off

the light, humming through the house

like a banshee, declaring death.

She has picked the blood from the white walls,

grain by grain, as if it were mildewed paint.

My heart has long since stopped giving it;

she’s become a corpse every time I look at her.

She’ll perish without my eye, my lung,

her dead body folding in a box.

Each urn of water empty, she leaves me.

I see her head nod above the ditch,

like a dying flower in winter,

as she descends to a country

far away from thought.


Leanne O’Sullivan


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