'Self Portrait As Longing' by Elodie Barnes

The trees empty themselves
for winter, bones laid bare
in shivering light. Stripped
of becoming; stillness
held defiantly against city life
that persists, insists.
I tell you I want to sleep naked,
to lie open and quiet.
The thousand bodies surrounding mine
are suffocating me.
Do you see? I want
to feel the sharp bite of snow
before the spring;
to hold the hope of budding leaves
as a seed not yet flowing
in my blood;
to hover above a moment, not behind
or in front, not casting
a sideways glance and wondering what if.
This bed is earth. Rooted.
Open the window
so that my branches can stretch
above the sirens. I want
to remember that the beginning will be
a reflection of the ending.
The ending is not yet

but this is the point
at which there is no more
to say – do you see? I want
to become winter

Elodie Rose Barnes is an author and photographer. She can usually be found in Paris or the UK, daydreaming her way back to the 1920s, while her words live in places such as Burning House Press, Bold + Italic and trampset. Current projects include chapbooks of poetry & photography inspired by Paris, and a novel based on the life of modernist writer Djuna Barnes. @BarnesElodie

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