THE DEATH OF 27

By: Elle Packham

Illustration by: Jessica Vaughan

Illustration by: Jessica Vaughan

The woman walked in
her head held high,
she led with her face
and met with her eyes

with hands by her side
and lips slightly curled
she seemed unafraid
of what she saw in the world

Or perhaps, in fact
the truth, as it were - 
she seemed unafraid
of what it saw in her

On the woman before me
I was hypnotized. Transfixed.
I almost failed to notice
the words from her lips

“I have come to cut you loose” 
she spoke with a hum
and instantly I realized
for me she had come

Like hit with cold water
I awoke with a snap
and discovered to my shock
that I hung in a trap

Suspended mid air
in a web like a fly
I could not move at all
though all my strength I did try 

I inspected the web
in a plight to be free
but then learnt of its makings
which were, well… they were me

My veins, bones and limbs
made up every fibre
I had woven them over time
like a sleep walking spider

The tangled up veins
pumped red and blue
they climbed over the bones
and hung an organ or two

And circling below
the web swaying in the wind
was the woman staring up
searching where to begin

She found a loose thread
and with a flick of her wrist
she snapped it in two
as if unpicking a stitch

Like red confetti firing
my blood burst from the vein
and I watched the woman below
as she danced in the rain

Weightlessly she moved
unravelling my prison
As if underwater
in a sea dyed crimson

And once she had finished
pulling free every strand
just the bones were left
which she broke with her hands

The woman then paused
when she saw me begin
to slowly drop from the web
like drool off a chin

And as I lay on the ground
below the web now mangled
on a bed of broken bones
and veins, untangled

I looked up at my lungs
which still hung in the nest
watching them expand
taking their last breath

And I started to wonder
how it ever came to be
that I hung in a trap
made by (and of) me.

Into the carnage
I began to melt
the woman came closer
beside me she knelt

Her fingers on my eyes
from sockets they popped
she did the same to her own
and with mine, she swapped.

Then I saw the broken web
(which once I was captive) 
from the eyes of the woman
who ripped, snipped, hacked it.

And I could no longer
see myself in the void
of the torn apart web
that I had destroyed 

BIRTH OF 

Born anew
Bardo dissolved.
From within,
Changed. Evolved.