Lucille Bonne is a visual artist, poet and flash fiction experimenter, hailing from Edinburgh, now based on the Isle of Mull on the west coast of Scotland. She holds a BA Hons in Fine Art from CIT, Cork, Republic of Ireland and is currently studying towards a BA Hons in Arts and Humanities (Philosophy and English Lit) with Open University. She has previously exhibited in the Republic of Ireland and was recently published in Other Worldly Women Press.
Death has a distinctive smell
Death of a human that is
Or a little bird the cat has mauled
Then dragged in onto your living room rug.
The stench of death encroaching in on a human body is putrid
There is nothing on earth remotely similar.
Yet, the smell was of no concern to me
I wanted to see it
The shape of it
Surely at least death has a form?
I wanted so badly to see it in the air around my father’s body
To grab it with my bare hands
I needed something tangible to fight with or at least
Try to reason with
I saw nothing.
All I could do was try to put it on paper
Box it in
Not allow its presence to hold the room.
Scribbles and scratches
Black doorways and rough ink lines
I don’t think for one minute
That I captured it.
It only helped to dispel my rage at this invisible pervasive force
That whisked my father’s lifeforce from his body
As quickly and effortlessly as a child letting air out of a balloon
That they couldn’t manage to tie a knot in.
Luminous soft spongy moss pillow fantasies
Bounced right off your solid constitution
Ricocheted right back at me
Swamp juice wet flannel
Slop sap in my face Next time I will bark
Leap up on you and lick your face
Drag you down the jagged rocks by your trouser leg
Til you lay down and play with me in the moss.
A luminous moss pillow
For our heads
Hidden on the forest floor
Where time strikes
in shafts of sunlight
Today a warm rock
Spread eagled on my back
The curves of my bones melted
Into its surface
Porous skin and
Stone cradles my lungs.
Pushing off the end wall of
the swimming pool
Turbo charge through the water
The little unexplored cavern
Behind your earlobe
Kiss there for the same rush
In your hands
Slab of meat tossed around
In the butcher’s rough hands
On hip bones now
Where you need them to be
For a brief hot second
You have all the designs on them.
Torso rolled over effortlessly
Nonchalantly chucked aside
Finger indentation marks
In a stack
On a bar table
On a slab
Willing and eager.
Thin ladylike arms
Legs built long
For the distance
Akin more to an
In the dead of night
My firewalls are melting with the tenderness of you
Internal motherboard in a state of fragmentation
You throw out all these desktop shortcuts,
Alternative routes, wild tangents,
Fingers between toes, legs wrapped in your hair
The recycle bin is overflowing,
I’m in dire need of recalibration.
I share my bed tonight
Not with a fisherman
But with five fleas
One giant spider
One daddy longlegs
And two ticks.
The ticks and fleas
I killed between index finger and thumb
I heard seven satisfying crunches
On their way out of this world
The spider and daddy longlegs
Can stay for now,
Way less trouble than a fisherman.
I won’t just lie here and let my thoughts strangle me
Take a Valium or a drink to forget for a while
Not this time.
Today I reach down my throat
Yank up a red raw pulsating tentacle
From a deep dark pit of darkness.
Just the one
That’s the problem.
Now the others are slithering
Squirming their way up
Squawking and squealing
Battling over each other
One hot writhing dirty mess
Desperate to be the first to get a glimpse
Of a ray of light
Stark exposure to end their misery
All those years of slithering around
In an endless aimless circular trajectory
I almost feel sorry for them.
Rancid dirty septic rotten tentacles
From a sick neglected subconscious
I will dissect them delicately later
With my sharp scalpel blade
On a pristine white table
So, I don’t miss anything vital.
I can’t taste the tune from the gramophone
And the goblet is just beyond my reach
Clear vision yet senses mixed up
Weak radio signal.
Almost tasting the music
Nearly hearing the paintings on the wall
There are no walls, no edges
Nothing to hammer a nail into
The artworks are suspended in the atmosphere
It’s an abyss
An oasis inside an abyss
Inside the black there is white
Not a shade of grey to be heard
There are effervescent liquids
Flowing from a feature fountain
I can taste them in the air
Polished jade eggs roll gently
Around on a silver platter
Creating satisfying little smells
When they collide
Oversized grapes are opaque
Bursting out of their skins
No colours to be heard
The moths that thud fruitlessly
against the four poster canopy drapes
Have an eerie translucency
Books all have mysterious
unlabelled black covers that taste like starfish
Jewels and amulets drip
from every corner of the floating furnishings
Surfaces gleam like the skin of a narwhale
Sounds from the gramophone float
In varying parallelogram shapes
A pair of jet-black peahens
Trailed by a swarm of friendly colourless bees
A game is in progress
On the chessboard at the foot of the four poster
The pieces appear to be animated
Observing each other with wide pale soapy eyes
The girl is wearing only
Twenty-three strands of pearls
They seem not to weigh her down in the slightest
She is contented in her skin
Soaking up the scene
Awaiting her move.