Haibun/Uncertainty/A Promise to Your Clothes/ by Jane Burn


You are making catacombs of your other life. Each drawer droops out its lip, swallows its meal of unnecessary things – a misting of loose-limbed tights, stubs of lipstick, any shoe with giddy heels. Dresses hang in the wardrobe’s tomb, flat as ghosts, null without a body to bloat them. Scents of occasion linger the folds – perfume, smoke, pale hints of sweat. You look your necklaces straight in their spangled eyes. I will wear you again. Touch the core of pain at the centre of your chest. This is the hole where your mother used to be. There is no way of knowing whether she is living or dead. Your brothers nest in the trunk of your throat – dawn, they hatch from your aviary mouth, wing your breath like a sometime memory of birds. You have forgotten where you buried the sound of your father’s voice. Your sister is thirty eight years old. You have never seen the way time has made a stranger of her face.

Night wields its blunt tool
though you remember the smell
of her newborn hair

Jane Burn's poems and stories have been published in a wide variety of magazines and anthologies, placed in many competitions and nominated for the Forward and Pushcart Prize. Her latest collection Yan, Tan, Tether is available from Indigo Dreams.

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