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Breath & Shadow

Winter 2020 - Vol. 17, Issue 1


written by

Elka Scott

There is nothing wrong with my eyes but

I don’t see colour much these days.

The whole world is gun metal grey

Dull but violent

Polished but rough

I feel like a bullet,

Trapped between ever-closing walls of grey.

Load me up,

I will shoot the colour dead

Take off the safety,

I will bleed gunpowder

Choking on my own sulphur

My lungs are charcoal black

My lips

Gunmetal grey

I sing my medicated swan song

Over the drone of daily life

I muzzle myself,


I can’t stand my own voice.

Every day is a revolver,

It is roulette

Waiting on the final bullet

I keep looking for the colour

But I don’t like flowers much these days

I can’t seem to keep them alive

There’s nothing wrong with my hands

But petals crumble in my fingers

I am dull but violent

Living things stay away from me

They can tell my roots won’t grow.

The whole world is gunmetal grey

And I feel like a bullet

Waiting to be fired

The heat is at my back

But I can’t move forward

I don’t see much colour these days

I think I’d miss the target

Don’t aim at anything you don’t want dead, they said

Don’t point that thing at the mirror, they said

You can’t shoot the colours away, they said

If you push too much

There’s only one place left to go

Elka Scott writes short and novel-length fiction as well as poetry. They studied creative writing and psychology in university and are currently working to become a creative writing therapist. Elka lives in Saskatchewan and recently received a grant from the Saskatchewan Arts Board to write their first graphic novel.

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