Back to Issue Forty-Four

Light Upon the Body



Next to the mirror in the ferry bathroom was a painting of two girls on a hotel bed. The room was the green I wished I saw on the inside of my eyelids. It was a green that said: Interior. How did green—a colour so infrequent to the body, sign of sickness and disease—look so warmly internal? That was the mystery the painting told. Sliced open at the head of the bed was a watermelon baring its softest pink. Looking at it, I was nostalgic for the self before the pain, not this glassy storefront version of me. Over the tinny-sounding speakers came a song that seemed to illuminate the fact that music is noise. What a wonder, I said aloud to the empty stalls, to make noise sound like noise. I wanted to describe the pain I felt in the same illuminating way. The music petered out. Just standing here, I had faced two miracles and remained intact. My body seemed the last mystery to answer. Pain in the body had no image. No outline. My body was in my head. My body was my head. My body was shaking off the rust. My body had grown just a little bit. Had walked through sound and sharp objects. My body was dialogue and forgiveness. My body spelled out desire. Spelled out coincidence. My body was cosmic and grand. My body was my body. My body. My body. I was ice in the tumbler of my body and amber liquid. Held in the bathroom mirror, I chimed and chimed and chimed.


Alison Braid’s work has been shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize and the Bridport Prize in Flash Fiction. She is the author of the chapbook Little Hunches (Anstruther Press, 2020). Recent work has appeared in West Branch, The New Quarterly, Arc Poetry Magazine, and PRISM International. She holds an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Next (Catie Rosemurgy) >

< Previous (Dan DeVaughn)