Jess Murrain

Jess Murrain

The Dressing Gown

the animal body is invoked when fearful the animal body can’t assume shadows
are safe to play with my Grandmother gently unhooks the dressing gown

dismantling its folds from the threat of a face like any decent puppet it dies
when it hits the ground I address the dark anew pinching my pulse  

and resting into the hope of birdsong a blank wall nothing hanging like priest
and I’m mopping up the wide of my eyes the wet on my pyjamas where bears

embrace thin on fading cotton keeping my panic company each bear
is wrapping around her sibling clasping paws together is this survivors’ guilt?

the questions cry themselves aloud like a train catching to my body dragged under
I prise at figments of cloth I wonder is my imagination feral or is the dressing gown

the man I will one day know to be my friend yes he will accompany me on drums
at a gig then home later to scour through his girlfriend’s devices as she brews tea

camomile in their candle lit life he demands her passwords or in another London
he writes her into the night as she runs he dashes her into his novel

the dressing gown is wearing slogans of allyship on his chest
under the dwindling thud of a party the woman he raped in their student days

is still negotiating her relationship he begged her afterwards
to consider the route blood takes to the brain

organs reorganising themselves in the aftermath of a morning mine is lingering
past sleep leaving me to remember my Grandmother listening by the bedroom

door she left it ajar always believing surely this is love lighting up the sound
of the wood pigeon’s call how do these birds pitch their song? blue note on a frost

JESS MURRAIN is a theatre-maker, actor and co-founder of Theatre with Legs- an experimental theatre company. Her poetry has appeared in Tentacular, Under the Radar, PERVERSE and Field Notes on Survival: A Bad Betty Anthology.