Alix Scott-Martin, Dreams


i’m edging barefoot
across cold cracked tiles
ankle-deep in algae and piss and god-knows-what
and i’m trying to squeeze
through narrow doors
into a filthy glass
toilet cubicle


odd that we’re lying face down
and shoulder-to-shoulder
on a sheetless mattress
when i haven’t seen you for decades
and we were barely compatible
even then


i’m on the wrong side of zoo bars
struggling to reach
the exit un-noticed
so i don’t breathe out
and i’m holding up my babies
my own plump beautiful babies
as high as i can from a lion’s
open jaws


because my legs are lead-heavy
i’m having to heave at my knees
just to lift my feet
from the ground


in our new house
where i lived as a child
and visited my grandmother
and kissed a stranger
and perhaps worked late night bar shifts
we open doors to infinite
unexpected rooms
warehouse-huge and impossible
to furnish


it’s far too late
to prepare for a party
where guests i know are
wearing the ageless faces of schooldays
while i’m rummaging through
rails for a dress
long enough to hide
my unshaven legs


i’m holding the warm hand of a woman
who may be my mother
but i haven’t the heart to tell her
that the still fox
on the forest path before us
is really my father
in disguise

Alix Scott-Martin has taught English at secondary level for 16 years. She is currently based in Rugby with her husband and two sons. Her work has been published by Ink Sweat & Tears, Lighthouse and Magma.

Read more of Alix here.

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