by Giovanna MacKenna

When the pathologist cuts me open
salt water
will run from my veins.
The crack in my skull will require
an extra twist
to loosen the barnacles
from my cave of bone

Scalpel on skin
a bold strike down
torn back
a wondrous rock pool appears

Rubied anemones wave in alarm
at the rolling waters
limpets lock to my deflated lungs
sweet shining seaweed is caught
around the stillness
of my heart

Waves lap over my broken skin
washing the tiled floor free
of its hospital smell, filling the room
with a soft sea breeze

Gulls cry overhead.
There is the sound of waves

Giovanna MacKenna | @giovmacs
Born to an Italian mother and Scottish father, Giovanna grew up on Scotland’s west coast. The written word formed a lifeboat that carried her safely through childhood difficulties. After lengthy careers as an actor and a journalist, she was tasked to write a poem – and found she was full of them. She hopes her words will foster empathy and ease conversations about the difficult things which fill all our lives, but are rarely spoken aloud

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