What do you do if you’re that close to the edge,
And you don’t know how you got there?
How do you feel when,
Just by chance,
You’ve inched away from the never-ending abyss?
Sink your nails into the ground,
Dig up the answers.
And, when the sun is close and you can feel its warmth,
Look up at it and smile.
The silence that I have now
There are some things you lost
That you never considered protecting
The roots got jumbled
In a craziness of youth
Insipid with naivety
A hand upon the bark of a tree
That felt warm
As you squinted in the sun
You shed your past
Yearning to be
Operating Theatre no.13
You lie down facing the clock that reads an hour ago
You wonder why nobody has bothered to change it
In this place of beeps and ticking and hands that are washed repeatedly
Your feelings turn into a tidal wave
The water is dry, but it crushes your chest
With all of your life sitting on top of you
You wonder if this is your chance to run away
You feel animal-like, trapped, wanting to find a place in which to curl up and die
You feel superstitious in room 13
You feel like a superhero
That life has been enough already, that you are happy to go or to stay
You feel betrayed by life
You feel as though your thoughts will determine your future
You try to smile when the tears burn
You’ll start to feel a little sleepy now
You’ll start to feel a little sleepy.
I shed my skin
I shed my skin
And you wouldn’t believe
That I didn’t miss it
I walked away from that heap
And lost you, mesmerized in place
Desperately trying to collect the pieces
I left behind
I don’t need those memories, I said
Lighter in my movements
But you took it upon yourself
To distrust me
And like with any pile of bulky things
Gathered in the wind
As papers flying in your face
You stumbled and fell
And I kept walking.
We can play together
She left a pebble everywhere she went
And they could hear her secrets in the ocean
One day they heard him too
With pleading eyes and a sweet heart
The strings were attached for much longer than they thought
Maybe one day we can play together
Miriam Calleja is a bilingual poet from Malta. Her books Pomegranate Heart (EDE Books, 2015) and Inside Skin (EDE Books, 2016) have been described as ‘fresh’, ‘intimate’, and ‘sensual’. In 2015 she was shortlisted for a literary excellence award for her poem ‘Burying the Dark’, which has been published in an anthology by Magic Oxygen in the UK. She spends her time giving creative writing workshops, writing for performances or publications, and devouring books. She loves the sea, cats, coffee, and travelling.
Her poems have appeared in newspapers, magazines and anthologies such as The Sunday Times of Malta, Sentinel Quarterly, 63 channels, Degenerate Literature, and The Bleeding Typewriter.