• Tealight Press

Ghost time by Jax Bulstrode

the sheets, chalk white

and matching me

walk together

down the passageway

through to the fireplace

to set ourselves alight

when I was small, I talked to the spiders

in the corners of my room

whispers in the middle of the night

made up songs and secrets

when I was small, I didn't exist yet

still I was there, sparkling on the edges

frizzy halo of love, I know now

hiding behind kitchen counters

but when you are eleven

and no one can see you

you find comfort in windows

in the cool planes of glass, in possibility

in the ghost stories

in the middle of the night

the lost things, back of the classroom voices

and clocks that go too slow

or don't know how to tick at all

I never learned how to tell the time

I was never broken

only missing then found

in negative space

in strings of spider webs, spun under the covers

and moon mad dances in the night

name this queer time

smashed windows and bloody sheets

charred bones and new things

today the spider sees me

through a hundred half-open eyes

can't recognise me but can spell my name

calls me woman

but tells me I do it wrong

it still takes me a while to tell the time

sometimes the clock looks

the wrong way around

sometimes I am 20 and 13 at the same time

first kisses and late rebellions

I’m growing up the wrong way

holding my own hand

Jax Bulstrode is an Australian queer poet. Her work covers the quotidian, the feeling of coming home after a long day and what it means to discover oneself. She loves mandarins and is currently studying gender studies and digital media in university, and how to make the best tofu scramble in life… You can find her at @Jaxlb1234 in instagram or @Jaxbulstrode on twitter

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