Poem: Monstera

By Rachel Paxton-Hall

monstera illustration

then I was sitting on
the tiled floor
and I couldn’t ignore
this plant-green glow
in my heart that
swelled and shimmered like
a monstera in the afternoon sun

what had you done?

I’d felt you pick
my bones in whispers then
pile them by the sea
with the cuttlefish

I used to be independent

I used to enjoy my
pinot gris with ice
content with this candle-lit slice
of singleness that saw me
string gold medals above
my bed like Chinese lanterns

I used to despair

spilt chamomile
stale birthday cake
every day I’d wake
with pepper-black
smoke in my lungs and
I’d forget how to breathe

where do I go from here?
what do I do?

thoughts of you
make my eyes glimmer
like pearls in the sea’s reflection
my heart shakes
knowing I’ve changed

I used to be lonely

people made me cry
and I’d forget why
I was working, why
I was sad
I couldn’t seem
to admit that
all I had
was a regular pay check and
artificial serotonin in my brain

then there appeared
a cactus in my kitchen
and a peperomia
near my sink

and I finally grew to think
life was more than
due dates
sticky notes
wine after five

remember that drive
past the sea?

We were talking about
jellyfish and the
sun made patterns
on my bare thigh

something about you and I
together on the road
made me pause, re-think
press play


my head is clear now
I know what to do
thoughts of you
gave me a future
I wasn’t sure I had

the kettle boils
the ice-cream van
jingles in the street

and finally
I feel complete


Rachel Paxton-Hall

Brisbane, Qld



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