Intent of Neglect by Gráinne Maxwell

The pompous sun boasted in at Jackie; linear and Venetian shadows settling on her skin. It was the hair and flesh sleeping alongside her, an elbow protruding into a crevice of her rib which convinced Jackie to lie there discerning the trivialities of the words belonging to a forgotten night a little longer. One day she thought, one day the air will lift the diaphragm of her one-horse town shallow breath only to fall again with a chemical-like sting of regret. And it would come as expected; first to appear in the morning and the last to leave at night. For the past 6 months Jackie has battled with the face of night, contemplating the capacity to love and fear someone all at once. For the most part she reckoned when a heart beats it can’t tell the difference in its rhythm.

‘Jackie you can love yourself or pretend to, but you can’t make love to yourself’ that was her mother’s spirit before, an assortment of grins and winks to embarrass her first-born with. Those days before, when happiness was the sound of her mother’s self-help pamphlet satire in a waiting room full of unattended teeth. The days before the love for her Jackie were untainted.

Now Jackie felt she was the embarrassment, in love with a woman as a woman living the reality of that bloody self-help pamphlet and selfishly choosing not to shut-the-fuck up and make love to herself.

 As a kid Jackie would catch butterflies in glass jars and caress the grains of their powdery wings between her fingers. Just like the woman standing before her now in their own glass jar architecture, the same as and different to the woman laughing in the waiting room. The stale cyclical air where words would never find their way out, limply cast into a dead-weight existence

‘No Jackie, not this. Please anything but this.

Some parasites grow old on their host and hide beneath satin nightwear instilling fear, reservations and hate. The jar air-tight and now Jackie was a dull orange lady clamouring, her wings stripped bare of paint. The catalyst for our existence remains a single act of love or fear or a fusion of both so that we clump together according to some sequence of genetics in pools of blood and security and we become affected moulded and sometimes clogged with nothings of the past. Those papier-Mache strings of parasitic human tied together by the wastes of nature.

‘How can you fly from human regret when your own breath is its leftovers?’ Jackie nursed a throat-burning bitterness while stroking the sleeping head of hair next to her.

As a kid, she had never noticed the streams of wet fear hemorrhaging at the mouth of her winged victims in that lapse of time before their death, but now she suffocated from the same intent of neglect. No matter who we are to this planet we stand on the environs, a mere 72 hour journey to navigate beyond the glass-jar

Gráinne is from county Tipperary where she grew up with a love for reading and writing. The unrelenting love grew wings and brought her temporarily to The Netherlands where she is now thesis-ing.

Image Credit:  Havilah Galaxy