For 2555 days

 photo @jordanbauer

photo @jordanbauer

I am currently in a state of reinvention, which, is interesting to say really, because I think for the most part, we all are. We are all trying to become the next best version of ourselves. But for me, I am kind of just touching my toes to the surface of the waters of reinvention, I've only been able to come that close. I recently separated from my partner of almost eight years and am living alone, in the city, for the first time as an adult, and it has been terrifying. But most of all, it has just been numb. Like, my body has been on overdrive and work has been overwhelming, so I haven't even had the time or space to even consider my reinvention... how I want it to look, how I am going to achieve it, etc. So in this poem I was really trying to convey the first steps, kind of the, out of the darkness into the sliver of light.. like a woman trying to discover the methods she will utilize to start to become her authentic self.

by Justine Goodchild

For 2555 days and nights I was with you.

Not just with you,

an extension of you.

My skin absorbed your flakes of skin as they fell invisibly

off of your arms and legs and blanketed my entire body.

Concurrently my flakes combatted your flakes and you absorbed me,

And we walked around just being each other.

For 2555 nights I breathed in your recycled air.

Your open mouth next to mine,

with your ever anxious body finally at peace,

you fed me your dreams through carbon dioxide exchange.

I'd get high high high,

Even at our proximity we never managed to poison one another.

For 2555 days,

when you spoke,

my lips mimicked the words you would say,

my body memorized how to predict them.

Sometimes we grew suspicious of who was actually speaking.

We shared cups and food and forks and blankets,

For 2555 days we invented intimacy.

For 20 days I have been reinventing.

I discovered my lips static,

like without your mouth I'd lost the ability to speak,

I had no clue what to say,

at all.

At night,

I opened my new bedroom window and breathed in the breath of my neighbours.

I began speaking in Portuguese in my dreams.

I started breakdancing in my sleep

to the boom box that would play in the park after dark.

And when I woke up I realized I wasn't you anymore,

I was everybody.

But I still wasn't me.

So I took cold showers.

I closed my windows.

I lay on my bed and watched as an anxious fly buzzed around and around my room.

Maybe he was asking for the way out,

but I couldn’t answer.

I took more cold showers.

I started playing the trumpet.

I bought plants and filled all of my windowsills.

I watched daddy long legs trapeze down my walls and I eagerly shared my space with them.

I woke up one morning and I saw the fly,

my obnoxious friend.

His legs were stiff, his wings frozen in his final desperate flutter.

And I mourned him as if I were mourning the loss of our 2555 days.

I mourned my lost opportunity of releasing him.

Tears fell down my cheeks,

streaking the windowpane.

And then I finally spoke.

And my very first word was "goodbye".


Justine Goodchild's book of poetry "These Are All True Stories" is available now! Contact

Jessica Salgueiro