Umbilical Buddy

‘Umbilical Buddy’ Video, 1 min 47 sec (2020)

A diaphanous lifeline thrown across to me, 

from her, to him, to us.

There was barely any time on the bed.

The magnet was placed, 

the rate was changed.

I was asked if I would rather not go totally without.

I said I didn’t mind,

recalling the times I’d felt the disappearing of self –

a depth of collapse.

NHS eyes checking to see how far I could go on my own.

Remembering the porter who’d smelt of last night,

his paper-like uniform and turquoise mask 

that matched his surgery Crocs – 

standing over my moveable chair,

driving me around 

– the pastel murals of the corridors – 

my growing adolescent frame.

Confusion of muscle

slowed to an ebb that was actually mine,

not the synthesis that my metallic inside has given me 

since its fitting.

Switched on, switched off,

my own beat would do its best to look after itself,

without its friend, its umbilical buddy.

It’s purely a device 

and I am but one of many.

It is but one of many.

When it’s all done. 

I walk with a familiar unsteadiness.

Taking in the magnitude that 

lives under my skin 

away from my mind’s eye,

the rest of the time.