Suppose you loved yourself enough
to go into work today and the mind was more
than a headache or a blackout.
Suppose you could unscrew the jam jar lid
that is the top of your skull and empty
the crud of your thoughts into the pedal bin;
and suppose the sun pushing back into winter
wasn’t a hangover in the eyes
and that your mouth felt so loved
it couldn’t help but shape the words
thank you, thank you, thank you over and over.
Suppose it was a choice. Suppose
the gnats stopped feasting on your brain.
Suppose you found the energy you needed
thrusting up in the muscles
like a mountain range being born.
Suppose someone said to you for God’s sake
open up to me, and for a second you did,
a window unlatching itself inside,
a thousand crows flying out into the silence.
James Giddings was born in 1990 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He completed his MA Writing at Sheffield Hallam University where he was awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council grant. His poems have been widely published both online and in print, and in 2015 he was awarded a Northern Writers award. His debut pamphlet Everything is Scripted won Templar Poetry’s Book and Pamphlet Award in 2016.