all of these things are true and not true

by | January 11, 2022

prayer warbles all day beneath our birdcage because

one of the budgies is always pretending to be a landline


the only palm reader i know has never taken her jewellery

off because the skin of her fingers folded the wedding ring in


i have nothing to say but it is to you that i want to say this nothing

i am overusing the word light        i am inventing dreams


to sound more interesting        i am folding into myself

like the night        i am turning and turning        like milk


unforgivably sour        once i sat down with a biro in each

of my back pockets         & had twin red and blue stains holding


my jeans to my hips on the way home        like palms smeared

with diagram blood in a biology textbook        last night i


dreamt we were in the mcdonald’s bathroom        you drank

light straight from the soap dispenser into your hands


i have nothing to say to you but         the only palm reader

i know told me to paint my nails more often       sometimes


she holds my face up to hers and swears she embroidered

every hair of my eyebrows in place         with a needle


last night i dreamt i answered the telephone with my eyes

closed and instead of your static hello? hello? i was being


led through plants and leaves        have i told you about

the morning i woke up with shards of biro plastic in my mouth


like glass        you told me you had nothing to say

the only palm reader i know once slapped me across the face


Words by Cia Mangat. Artwork by Millie Dean-Lewis.