Roshni Beeharry

The vertiginous drop from dreamworld into real world pulls at me like a ripcord. I am not ready to greet the day. Not yet.

The pungent tang of gunpowder hangs in the air, conjuring up echoes of last night’s acoustic chimera of excited chatter and music, sirens and shooting stars.

On the screen of my stubbornly closed lids, a picture of my childhood self is projected, a sparkler held at arm’s length, swirling my name in the dark, trying not to let it die out. I am mesmerized by the sizzling neon streaks,firing and dying across the cold air, shivering with delight at the fizzle as I drop the spent stick into the bucket of water.

I am suffocating in here despite the cold breeze fluxing in and out of the room like breath through leaky double glazing. “Remember, remember the fifth of November.” How can I forget? Though I try. I really try, but memories pull at my mind like impatient children tugging at the sleeve of an exhausted mother.

I move to the window, ease it open a little, peeling back the boundary between my inner and outer world. Outside there is life; people caught up in their own thoughts, satellites in each others’ worlds.

I look up at the sun, and close my eyes again. The familiar warm orange glow is my own blood flowing in thousands of tiny capillaries, illuminated by the sun. A whole network of networks. I feel safe in this network, nurtured, held.

I drift into the liminal space between light and shade, waking and sleep, climb back up into half-dreams and half-truths.

I will hide here a while longer until I am ready for the day.

Dr. Roshni Beeharry is a London-based Portfolio Medical Educator, former Neurorehabilitation Consultant in Neurological Rehabilitation Medicine, poet, short-form writer, Writing for Wellbeing & Personal Development facilitator, and poetry reviewer for Family, Systems & Health and Family Medicine journals. She has been published in Litro, Writers’ Magazine, Atrium PressKind of a Hurricane Press, and the UK anthology, These are the Hands: Poems from the Heart of the NHS.