This in-between has got under her skin,
it is the dermis, the layer beneath –
made of connective tissue and sensory nerves.
It has become like a light
and she is the moth, who cannot
help but fly into it.
She knows too, she dwells in that space
with the writing of this, as the words
fall like a sun shower, only to dry up
as quickly as they once poured.
Are there moments of being
there, or here? Of starting, or arriving
of beginning, or ending? Or is there only
birth and death, and everything
in between? It has caught her, this space
like a fish in a net, struggling to move.
A place of transition, this not-here
nor there, a borderland between yesterday
and tomorrow, vast and open
for as far as the eye can see.
She thinks of transition, and recalls
that worst part of labour before birthing
her children, and recalls
the rattly sound of his breath
the agitated flailing of his body
before death mistakenly took him.
And she wonders, is it important, does it matter,
so what? To be left in a lurch, or
sat in a slump, to be forever left
in the waiting room (of Dr Suess).
Does it matter what’s there? Does anyone
care to know the pain of a labour, or
the agony of those sounds and sights
that pre-empt death? Or the stories
of traversing the vast sandy desert, or
climbing the steep mountain track?
And I think, these are the processes
that take us, shape us and make us,
the in-between of this way and that,
of this self and the other.
Does it matter where I am? In between
the old and the new, reaching for one
while holding the other, moving between,
unsure, not knowing, reaching backwards
and forwards, outwards and inwards,
sinking and rising.
So I embark on this journey
of migration, navigating through
the borderlands, working the hyphen
between this self and an other.
I have one hand on before,
one hand in the after,
as I move into
the multiplicity of possibility,
my heart in my mouth
my feet on the ground
no flying above
no shortcuts below,
with only the breath of wondering
to guide my way.