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i like myself when i'm high

naoise gale

cw: drug abuse


It was Spring: dotted flowers, candyfloss
Horizons. Cherry blossom trees that
Twirled into pastel skies and stood silhouetted
In the pale dawn light. Pink, nubile trees in
Bud, making the ground a rosy desiccated
Shore, flute song. Skeins of thin, translucent
rain. I laid in the grass, danced my hands around
my flushed face, swiped them across my doped
mouth, made shadow puppets on the lit
bark. It was a cucumber fresh day, breezy.
My pills scattered like white, weeping apple blossom
In the dark crevice of my handbag. I twitched
My hands around the space, pressed six
Pills onto my tongue and swallowed with
Perennial bottled water. The geese kept
A-bobbing. The blossom never shuddered.
My heart sang I love you I love you I love you
Like a ruddy puncture, a slow pumping, reggae
Music where mothers go to die.
Tolerance kept me a neutral angel, nourished
By whiteness, lungs a slow approximation
Of spring loving. Later, I dozed by the lake –
Sickly jasmine slumber – while the sweet
Wind stripped the trees and the bubble-gum
Blossom buried me deeper, deeper, deeper.

Naoise Gale is a twenty-year-old autistic poet from the UK. She writes about mental health, eating disorders and addiction, and has been previously published by Cephalo Press, Anti Heroin Chic and Rabid Oak. Runner up in the Parkinson’s Art Poetry Competition 2020 and commended in the Poetry Space Competition 2020, she has poems upcoming in Versification, Glitchwords and The Augment Review. You can find more of her work at Naoisegale13 on Twitter, or at her website

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