Photo of a moon in early evening dark blue sky, with tree leaves and branches in front of the camera, shading the view

‘sometimes breathing is a group activity’ by Jax Bulstrode

sometimes you need two or three others 
who know the peculiar drumbeat 
of a cursed heart 
to wrap arms around 
a broken body and let them know 
they are held

sometimes healing is a group activity
when they’ve stifled air from your lungs 
left just enough light to emit 
a strange kind of glow 
into the universe 
to create night skies so spectacular 
we leave our bedrooms
to come out
to take in the glitter shower
seeping up from sodden earth

maybe the church is thursday’s at 6 pm 
four of us huddled around 
the bathroom mirror 
a few unfamiliar faces 
we’ve just met but always knew
getting ready for the night 
equals button-ups and bare skin
borrowing without asking 
this burning youth 

maybe it’s when they show up 
over and over again 
to say 
I am here 
and we are quiet on my single mattress
watching smoke rise from the trees
letting ourselves be caught by the moon 
and whoever’s arms are closest

maybe it is breathing past
thickets of silence 
refusal to follow deep traditions 
carving away expectations 
while under our mothers’ roofs
holding the lamp up 
to our troubled mouths 

after all 
we are the lost ones 
the found and favourite 

this is just a promise
to see you 
and hold you 
to do it all together 

Photo of a moon in early evening dark blue sky, with tree leaves and branches in front of the camera, shading the view

About the author

Jax Bulstrode writes poems. They are usually writing about rivers or fruit or being queer. They have been published in Anti-Heroin Chic Journal, F*EMS and Southchild Lit. You can find them here @jaxbulstrode on Twitter.

Photo by Photoholgic on Unsplash.

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