Emily Hinshelwood – In Perpetua

In Perpetua
Wiseman’s Bridge

While you are in bed, naked
you are taken at gunpoint.
Unsteady from the weight of
sleep, you shake,
attempt to straighten.
There is a vague sense of deja vu.
It is a smile (with a fine
set of teeth) that makes you
remember to pin a flower –
a poppy – and pull on your boots.

You join lines of fresh uniforms
storming the beach on a military tide.
You roll like a pinkish boulder
slapping, snagging on rust
and welded shutters
past hermit squatters
and beach brakes, spraying shingle
and periwinkles. You unravel
until the only thing you own
is your name.

And your survival.

You are washed up in a cave
pummeled and pebble-bashed
pressing at torn flaps of skin
stumbling across a newly
slaughtered deer. You scoop blood
from its wounds and print
your savage handmarks on the dark walls.

And again, while you are in bed
you are taken at gunpoint.

And again you are taken.

And again