the fall

Robin M. Eames
Content Warnings
"i am defeated by a cat's yawn..."
Dec 24, 2020 10:56 PM

i am defeated by a cat's yawn

by the first long cold breath of morning stealing      

through the gap under the window-pane

by your blueness of eyes

i who swallowed the stars whole & felt them burning      

down the gaping maw of my throat only to suffer & spit      

into nothingness in the quench of my belly

i who drank the black of the night     

like wine, ocean-dark, & sour like old memories or     

the taste of sweat on your skin

i who held the moon in the palm of my hand     

& pulled the tides around me like a long cloak, the hem trailing

foam & bird-feathers & the distant crashing of waves

still barely audible beneath my cowl

i held another name:

a powerful invocation

whose syllables could wrap around the globe

& sink venom into the vocabularies of sinners     

& priests     

& starving poets      

& small children looking for beetles in city gutters

but finding only my name tucked into the earth           

written in veins of glowing ore

a name so vast & heavy upon the tongue

that it would take a year's rotation of an unkind star

to utter in its entirety…      

i have forgotten it now. that name was too large, too uncanny,      

too thunder-&-lightning. i left it behind me.

you knew my name, i think, but you did not know that it was mine,

or of the ancient power that you had robbed me of

to wield, unknowing

i hid my scales from you

& blunted my fangs on the curve of your hipbone     

exchanging wings for wheels, relearning flight          

wanting only to drown in the hot crunch of your laugh           

steadying myself against the muscle of your thigh          

your hand on my brow, trailing through hair like seaweed     

sinking slowly into half-remembered darknesses…

i was no longer the eater of worlds

my soul was quiet, & full, & very small     

i had borrowed it from a bird (which explains      

my fondness for pumpkin-seeds) & the soles of my feet bled only rarely     

glass splinters & shards of obsidian working themselves out of my body

to the beating of my blood  

all loved up

had my blood been quieter

i might have noticed before the wound reopened

your heart leaving me through scar tissue, well-worn grooves, the gouges

where my wings had withered into black ash      

upon contact with an alien atmosphere

heart falling from my throat, i sank into gravedirt     

touching my hand to my mouth & then      

to my heart again & again

listening & hearing softness in the space between breaths      

knowing defeat in every inch of me & in my core a longing     

for lost heartbeats          & yet knowing one day there will be

the reflection of moonlight on rushing water &      



ROBIN M EAMES is a queercrip poet and historian living on Gadigal land in Sydney, Australia. Their work has been published in Cordite, Meanjin, Overland, Uncanny Magazine’s Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction, and Deaf Poets Society, among others. They are currently working on a PhD at the University of Sydney examining madness and trans pathologisation.