How To [re]Recognise Yourself: A View From Inside Out

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By Rhiannon Suchak, University of Sussex


One (22 March)

Soon the sun will circulate; what we know will be a cycle past.

Curve my body round the earth.

Scrape my nails in the dirt (the dirt I will later choke on).

Pull my atoms in two.

Bury my hand just to see it resurface.

A backwards bend look back see where I land.

And the dirt won’t come out for weeks if I try.

But my hands miss and I go around again. (now I overlap myself).

So I bury my whole arm and let it flower for spring.

I’ve lost my body as it twists with the earth.

My body has become the root that I cannot dig up.

My feet meet my hands and they act as if they do not know each other.

Insistent, the mud grounds me and chews on my roots.

My body meets, estranged, I became.



Two (28 March)

The sun still wants us!!!! Did you know? Clearly she hasn’t got the news that WE CANNOT GO OUTSIDE. — ‘Well I can go out once a day only once for exercise but I’ve already been out to get my essential shopping so no sun I cannot see you today!’ I text.

It’s quite annoying actually because she shines right through my window all morning trying to entice me and actually I get quite hot just sitting there. Hug hug me with her warmth through the two panes of glass through the branches of the trees (they try to get in the way I think because they are jealous).

This morning she is kicking up a fuss and huffing and puffing all about screaming ‘JUST COME OUTSIDE come come it’s nice out I swear! And the longer you wait the further away I go and FUCK these FUCKING TREES I will blow them out the way so you can still FEEL me can you FEEL ME? I am HERE!’

‘I am offering myself my whole body to you!’ she shouts. ‘I am a raging ball of fire a literal ball of heat for you to bask in my life my body is devoted to you and you are ignoring me! Again! You did this yesterday and the day before in fact it’s been a week now.’

‘Then burn this fucking virus right out of the skin of the earth!’ I shout back! ‘Can’t you see it’s a pandemic!!!’ . . . she didn’t like that one cos now the next day she screams she shouts and she is hiding from me. She’s egging the clouds on, too… ‘go on, hit them with ice balls I don’t care just do it and do it hard – catch them when they don’t expect it.’

Then she thinks I’m cheating on her cos I turn the central heating on; ‘Another heat source? That’s a fucking joke’ I hear her mumble in the wind. I curl up under my duvet and close the curtains cos now I’m really pissed off. I go to sleep and she wakes me up – my reliable supporter, an unending source, the inevitable morning-breaker.

And all the while I hear her – ‘I still want you, I do’. So I pull open the curtain and shout into the sky, right in her face, ‘I want you too, you’re literally the sun to my world and you literally keep me alive.’

(In a moment I will crawl into the garden and let her take my body for her own).

Now she shines – – and hug hug the warmth through the two glass panes – – hug hug the warmth as it hits my skin – – my reliable supporter, my morning-breaker.




Three (29 April)

My eyes are paid with light,

With glasses where vision clears.

Fog of the night turning to droplet on the grass,

I do not see when I open my eyes. So I pay them as so.

I pay my feet in freedom,

Exposure to the stagnant air,

Delicate on the concrete ground.

My body does not get the same respect.

I am stripped from the security blanket at dawn

And replaced with mundane warmth.

Something to surround my body –

The first and last touch of the day.

My mouth is paid with soaked bitter embers,

Burning seeds and false serenity.

I bask in the stimulant

As if it will free me.

I tie my neck in gold

To feel closer to home (a home I never knew) –

But all I hear is the clatter of plates

And feel the cold chain as it reminds me of a body unloved.

I think I deserve a pay rise.

I sit on the floor.

I am paying my body minimum wage,

I know this is extortion but I like to test myself.

I think I deserve a pay rise.

I lay on the floor.

My body is still going so I figure

This is probably living wage.

I think I deserve a pay rise.

My body sinks into the ground.

I am succumbed by carpet and concrete and dust and mud

And lower.

I deserve a pay rise,

So I can bask my body in light and warmth.

I have a bath in fruits and wear

Only silk.

I think I deserve a pay rise.

So I move with the grass and plants.

Slowly, and only as reaction to light and air,

Tulips grow from my exposed feet buried in mud.

I think I deserve a pay rise.

I eat an apricot and this time

I swallow the pip

So it will grow inside, inside.



Instagram: rhisuchak

Twitter: @rhiannonsuchak


This is the tenth in our Feminist Everyday Lockdown Blog Series. Lockdown is a feminist issue, and sharing stories is a feminist practice. We are calling for further contributions to the CHASE Feminist Network blog on everyday feminism and lockdown. This includes creative, political, and personal reflections! In light of the current political situation and protests against the physical and structural violence of racism we particularly welcome blogs from BAME individuals.  Full details here


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