Breath & Shadow
A Journal of Disability Culture and Literature
Breath and Shadow
Volume 14 Issue 3
By Anaïs Verhoeven
I dream of travel
Of tunnels moving to cut through
The depths of air.
In these tunnels, I hear voices
Twisting like eels in an open sky
and they all say
The exact same thing: "Hurry"
I dream I am a witch
Hunting for milkweed with
Black cat companions
Darting between my skirts.
I pinch blooming yew between
My scraped and dirty knees
And take to air, to sky, to open void
I dream I am a victim
Body's skin curdled like sour milk
A bloody taste that persists
Between meals, when I do eat
It is little to nothing and mostly just air.
My hands shaking like autumn leaves
In november, just barely grasping.
I dream I am two twin stars
Circling each other with identical dances We are turning the broken material of our birth into children.
I am a binary star system, bright siblings Caught in a blind trance Infatuated with each other’s light.
I dream I am a prophet
Turning scripture in my hands
Running sightless eyes across words
That only my fingertips can read.
My preaching is a feast to devour
And people catch my hands against
Their lips, tasting clay on my palm.
I dream I am in love
With a God who still exists
But has gotten smaller as He is forgotten.
I bow my body to His Holiness,
Kiss neglected wounds
And worship the broken tilt
Of His loney star strewn body.
I dream I am an astronaut
My bare feet are mist above alien soil
I'm following behind you in love
With the foreign moon of your eye.
The sky is blanketed by a gradient of pink And blue and green, bright with stars.
I chase you across the galaxy, laughing
Anaïs is a 19 year old college student majoring in psychology and biology.
live with their partner in a tiny run-down apartment with their two
cockatiels, Romeo and Oberon. Anaïs enjoys obscure memes, fancy
pigeons, and social activism.