Issue Ten:

By Katherine McMahon

Sometimes I am so terrified when I wake

by the problems of the world

that I cannot move my small body

into it. I used to be one of those people who fights

the whole damn lot, or tries

But it is so complicated, it just made me want to lay

down. Now I sleep without you, and sometimes I want to lay

down in front of something, to wake

in a lock-on, concrete tube cold on my wrist, to be trying,

at least, to love the world

as a verb. It is what I have to fight

with: the most solid thing I have, this body.


In the end, people don’t really want to hurt each other. This body

can stop bulldozers by being easily crushed. It lays

like a taut rope, frayed. But this fight

is sometimes also a wake

for the things that have gone from the world,

and it is hard to get up. I am trying


to hold hope and sadness both in these trembling, trying

times, to trust my soft and solid body

to contain the lot in its complicated world:

to figure it out in muscles and veins as I lay

in my sheets struggling to wake.

It is exhausting, this fight.


I have no idea of the fights

going on inside me, all the cells that try

to keep me safe. But still, I just want to wake

with you again. If all the blood vessels in my body

were made into a rope and laid

out, they would stretch twice around the world


and more. This glowing stony trees and lakes world.

Even so, I don’t have the answer that will win the fight.

I can only think of you and the sea and how we lay

on the beach wrapped twice around each other and we were trying

to make our bodies



The world, it is trying.

It is not always a fight, my body

sometimes unfolded, laid out, awake.


About the Contributor

Katherine McMahon is a performance poet. As well as writing and performing, they run participatory projects and events, and have an MA in Creative Writing and Education. They debuted their spoken word show, Fat Kid Running, in 2017. They hope to use poetry to help build a more just, more sustainable, kinder world through community and solidarity.

Losslit canon

Witchbody -  Sabrina Scott

See all entries in the Losslit canon

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