Untitled, November 23rd. (484w)


there were fragments

scattered over the duvet

floating above me

slipping under the bedroom door

and through the open window

I’d felt the impact spread between my ribs

it beat in the centre of my heart

and sucked in around my lungs

it was clawing at my stomach

and it was dripping from my eyes

but as my pieces left

hovering in the space within our bedroom walls

as time stopped

I didn’t know they wouldn’t spring right back

and in desperation I clung to him

to feel just the textures

of reality, the knits and weaves of home

firmness of his ribs and muscles

the way our heat multiplied when my cold fingers pressed his chest

at least to me

I sank in his softness

my remaining pieces formed a cloud of concern

I was not the whole I had been

there were fragments

that had left, and perhaps I should have followed


I’m not strong

or sexy

even after podcasts on tantric sex

and articles on self love

even after writing over and over and over

about the pain, and the fear

spewing into poem after poem

the intrusive thoughts that stab across my vision

and I think there are less now

that the frequency is slowed

but time is going so fast

I can’t keep track of dates, or days

or poems I’d like to share

maybe it’s been a week since I’ve

thought of him betraying me

I hold on when I can

our wool blanket isn’t warm enough

and my draped lambskin can thickly cover

the freezing

so I breathe in every texture like I’m safely wrapped in home

a home that is free and whole

like green fields stretching endlessly only to meet the sea

I could be fresh, and strong, and intoxicating

an ocean wind full of salt

I’m at the top of the hill staring out


there were fragments, at the bottom of my glass

shards or bits or maybe just light refractions

and the tint on our lips

matched a burgundy wall

lit with candelabras, and light off our silverware and eyes

my pieces were all in baskets

the air was still

our chests beat in time

and it was our only clock

we ate when we were hungry and slept when we were tired

I could feel my blood beneath my skin

warmly working through its network of veins

the sun in the morning was just as warm

and waking felt

like being born

I could stare at his sleeping eyes

through the reflection

we were perfect bodies pressed and held and wrapped in our duvet

my own certainty was a heat in my chest

and the smoothness of my skin

the pieces I had found

didn’t fit anywhere now

but holding them had simplified it all

my scars were soft and safely healed

the baskets looked right in the corner by the lamp


Julia Mills is an artist and poet. She grew up on Quadra Island and currently lives in Vancouver. Her visual and written work explores ideas around identity and growth. She holds a BFA in visual art from UBC.