sometimes horizontal is the only way to be
—Kai Minosh Pyle

I’m typing in the room
where our tent is spread
to dry after your cousin’s
wedding in the river
valley I first called home.
There is air between
its layers & a metaphor
in the way thin metal
fingers of support
can turn so little fabric
into a shelter. From your
office near the ocean
you ask how I am
& I answer: lonely.
I don’t know how
to recover from playing
the role of able-bodied
wedding guest/girlfriend
without confining myself
to the fearful safety
of isolation. Outside, rain
& gray have claimed
the sky again. I pull
your wool socks on
as though to summon
you closer. Earlier
I showered to warm
my still body. Naked
under the water, I thought
maybe this is all in my
mind then remembered
the brain fog that forms
like weather in the after-
math of ordinary
exertion, the trails pain
has worn through
the underbrush of my
body. Even now
this landscape
is assembling, Glück
writes. I wish I could stop
falling for the lies this world
tells about bodies whose
production of labour
falters. I wish healing
was a social activity.
I wish I could do it out
in the open & nothing
would hurt me.

Author’s Bio

Kyla Jamieson is the author of Kind of Animal (Rahila’s Ghost Press, 2019), a poetry chapbook about the aftermath of a disabling concussion, and Body Count (Nightwood Editions, Spring 2020). Find her on Instagram as @airymeantime or on a rock next to a river.