An international online magazine that publishes Surrealist poetry in English.
The Secret of Invisibility
Install a mirror made from moonlit sky;
gaze long enough that all you see
is an empty space filled with night.
When your tired eyes turn to glass,
reflecting others back rather than
opening windows to your soul,
you have passed the first stage
of self-acceptance. Never lose
this mirror; its absence would take up
too much room, a rim of grime outline
the missing edges, your lack of shape.
Let the stars around you hold the light.
Impossible to foresee when he'll catch me –
he might creep up on a cold evening, lie in wait,
then let the air buzz with sudden static.
He ghosts warm dusks and fuzzes horizons.
Sometimes he hides behind bright lights,
then spins serrated thoughts, taunts clowns
to throw thunder, or conjures shadow lions;
they pounce open-mouthed and dagger-toothed.
There are hours when he turns everything loud:
water banging metal in the rafters; the wheeze
of cavity walls' heavy breathing; the silent clock's
neon red LEDs. Tick-tock, non-stop. Awake.
Those nights when he squeezes my ribs or sucks
time into one breath: everything trapped inside
without space for exhaling.
No respiration, no release. Sweat glistens
until I've perspired a whole skin of water,
body and mind enclosed in shivering liquid,
wet with the dream landscapes
that i can't free myself to swim into.
Impossible to guess his next visit,
only that he will strike,
bolting my eyes open,
stealing this small peace.
Sarah James is a poet, fiction writer, journalist and photographer, currently based in Worcestershire, England. The winner of the CP Aware Award Prize for Poetry 2021, she is
the author of seven poetry titles, including poetry collections plenty-fish (Nine Arches Press, 2015) and The Magnetic Diaries (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2015), as well as of two novellas and a touring poetry-play. Her website can be found at www.sarah-james.co.uk.