In Labour, After Pain Relief – Jane Lavelle

The glass thickens.

I’m a weird thing now. I’m a creature of the deep, the down-deep, the unfound black-brown down-deep. I have my lights, my lambency, knife flicker and slow glow. My skin is blown glass. My veins are a map. They lead outwards from my heart, a mermaid’s purse, to the hamlets in my tentacles.

I’m the only star in this watery firmament and I’m drawing matter towards me. I’m gathering atoms. Ravelling.

You won’t find me in any book. No one has caught me up in a name. But they know I’m here. They’re afraid to come too deep in case they spook me – in case they lose my scent. There’s an artificial ear they sometimes send across the surface. I squirm indulgently at it whenever it passes. It whispers spindrift.

They will come for me, though. This I know. Plans are being made. There’s a pair of them, for example, with a smart creel to take me home in. There are others, too, and even now they are stringing their nets.

I am running out of time.

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