Human Acts

Clean, crisp ice cracks

A frozen wasteland, cold, clean, deserted.

The lake is thick with ice, I push my heel into it; a crisp crunch. I make my way, precise across the lake, and with each movement the ice begins to fissure. To splinter. I can see dark water through these small wounds.

These tiny cracks build and build, one after the other like a burgeoning river recreating its source.

I set my heel once more and the fissures tear through the surface at a rapid rate, they rip; the ice splits and sinks.

And I fall.

I plunge beneath the surface, sink cocooned in the cold.

There’s a clink as the ice closes over my head.

I flounder, I beat my hands bloody against the ice.

I twist, turn and scream silent in an echo chamber where no one can see or hear me.

I realise I’m not drowning in water, I was never stepping on ice.

With every beat of my hand against the surface, dark black blood pulses round me, oozes out of the surface, through the cracks, as I harden the bruise, as I spread the tears, as I rip through the surface, as I strip the body to get to its source.

I leave pain in my wake.

One reply on “Human Acts”

[…] The evenings always sound like great fun, with the drawing of your piece usually meaning the pulling of a piece of paper from a hat, with drinks and chats with fellow writers and artists. The journey for me to get back on a weekday from London however, required a bus, a tube, a train, a 20 minute walk and then a car journey, which means often this isn’t particularly feasible. For this event I left a few hours early from work and made a long wander towards London. Before I left for my train, I discovered I hadn’t brought a notebook and pen with me, so picked one up on route. In a couple of cafes, and on the train and tube I finished Han Kang’s Human Acts and scribbled notes, in this new notebook, for what would become my Human Acts poem. […]


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