Metamorphosis THREE

Posted on 2nd May, 2019



YOU FLY YOU DIE : Story and image by Irene Cunningham




If I climb onto the kitchen counter to finally wallpaper above the window I could tumble, live a hermit’s end hidden from letterbox eyes. Decrepitude inches up my legs and down from the crown of my head – it may be time to wear my glasses, see faces, sit the end out and yet I stand and stare, measure the plan, worry about slipping on paste. Twenty-five years ago I stood trembling on the edge of my mother’s bath; I’d glossed all the walls, realised that energy had forsaken me at forty. Such a small strip I could nip up there, slap it on. Both my heads are nodding; the windows are double glazed – flight impossible without missile-status and no room to get up speed or weight. If I lost a stone my knees could cope – half a body and I could fly up there in a nifty minute, slip down like a ballerina on Valium, pirouette and take a bow. Heads are counting, weighing time – ten years has made the strip invisible...probably, but I could slim into the job.







Quarterlife Crisis : Kirsty A Niven


I'm nowhere near the woman I thought I'd be –

stagnating and subsisting,

watching the window fill up with flies,

their corpses carpeting the sill.

Dreaming but never ever doing,

procrastinating my Olympic sport. 


An image of myself, a dead future,

scars the backs of my eyelids.

She's confident. Inexplicably beautiful.

Her hair never frizzes, skin never breaks out.

Her third book's out in the spring.

People are drawn to her like moths,

unbidden and utterly charmed,

before she chokes and dies on falsities. 


I haven't even changed out of my pyjamas,

Karl and Susan bicker in the background

and my pencil refuses to budge.

The scarlet letter I wear is an F,

marking me as an oxygen waster.

Cut me down for society efficiency.

I call it my quarterlife crisis,

the next three quarters mapped out in blood –

a repetitive doom punctuated with rejection letters. 


A route I need to rewrite,

darlings I must put out of their misery. 

I can't be that fictional glamazon,

but there's someone else I have still to find. 



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