Julia McNamara is an emerging writer and poet from southern Ireland who received her BA in English and Psychology from University College, Cork. When she isn’t writing she is applying make-up as a form of inexpensive therapy/temporary disguise, while ruminating on where it all went wrong. Her favourite whiskey is Jameson. @JuliaMcNamara_x
After seven months I Tricked myself into glancing At the ugly red scar stretching Garishly across my lower pelvis It’s sly half smile mocking my Body dysmorphia – I brought the tips of my Fingers to meet the scarlet trench, To trace its route from left to right, Imagined the thin sharp blade the Doctors had used to rescue My child From a body betraying her as Well as me – The morning she was born I’d Gotten out of bed and bled a River – she was pulled from A wreckage, saved from the sinking Ship of mother. It took them 40 minutes to hook A mast of pain relief to my flesh – My womb became a shoal, She the ancient treasure Waiting for the knife The clear, clean cut. The monumental opening up.
For 10 years I ate
Nothing but words and as the flesh sank back From my bones, the fat of the words built up on my soul A heavy insulation. They warned me if I kept eating words and nothing But words, I would die – but you can only die Once and I was not yet a ghost. Still more words I ate, taken in by my eyes, caught in the Teeth of my heart, digested by the acid Of my longing. Sweet, salty, sour words the stomach failed To recognise. I nearly died because I refused To believe words Were not enough. For 10 years I ate nothing but words, for 10 years words ate nothing but me. I hold no resentment, I’m finally free. I tried to steal away from The world through the secret Passageway of words – Words wouldn’t let me go, They needed me here, They loved me So.
Somewhere far away I am a skeleton. stalking the earth in glorious shame, marvelling at the beauty of sunken eyes in dark caverns, swaddling perfect shiny bones in layers of cloth flesh picked off one by one at nightfall, suckling larva plucked from the carcass of a rotting fruit. Somewhere far away I am a skeleton stalking the earth in hollow victory, Feasting on the beauty of buxom bodies bathing in the honey of their own sweet casing, missing the life I could have lived.