As the ferns glitter and stiffen, I pray for her
cleaved to the radiator, turning a book with her feet,
her fingers shoved like razor clams
I pray for her bones dragging themselves to the bathroom,
her hand tugging the light, searching the pristine step
for her value in pounds. The dial
flickers. She lifts her toes.
Every autumn, she harvests herself: unpicks the blooms
from her tendons, plucks her heart from its stem—
horrified at its plumpness,
its brazen thud
and I pray for it, small as a clownfish, utterly despised.
It flops pathetically in her palm. She weighs the ounce
of her life, puffs it off in a cloud.
Snows into dust and bone.
Natalie’s work has recently appeared in The Stinging Fly and the New Welsh Review. She is currently working on her first novel with the aid of a Literature Wales bursary.