After this death I become thin veined
my hands remade into petalled flesh.
I can hear the clink of my own laughter,
an undertow inside a metal chest.
The air tastes unexpectedly cheerful and,
at morning, like day-old smoke.
Since that day, I realise my face can be
both plain and shaded pyrotechnic.
His voice still combs through me like
bone fingers in wet hair.
The words I don’t use, that can only be said
in his vernacular, such as ‘risible’
clock me awake, just when I am
arching towards the left side
of our bed.
In Italian, they called a bed this size
matrimonial, like sleep and sex
can only be accomplished under a vow
inside a religion beneath a temple.
When you left, I felt the sky suck into my eyes
and all I could see were your old shoes
placed in the corner and
becoming a garden
Catherine Trundle is a writer, mother and anthropologist, based in Wellington. She writes flash fiction, poetry and ethnography, and experiments with unpicking the boundaries between academic and creative genres. Recent works have appeared in Landfall, Not Very Quiet, Plumwood Mountain and Flash Frontier.
Listen to Catherine read ‘Undergrowth’ here