Unwelcome Home – Sarah Jane Justice

city
photo by Joe Ciciarelli

 

Unwelcome Home

 

there is no safety in having left

you are dragged back by a cold graze

memory cuts your clean slate skin

scratching it until it splits

 

cracks cross lines on paper maps

you are here

you are spread

you are lost in naked familiarity

 

your history is held captive

locked in city street corners

you bite their hard candy surface

you recoil from their snake bite sour

this place was rinsed but never washed

 

the past is a lingering taste

tainting the space between memories

smoke-signals extend their reach

waving across a landscape of half-lived years

this city is not yours

but you are held within it

its scraped-out shell will find you

it will paint you

it will never let you forget

you can never again be new


 

2019-01-17_Sarah-Jane-Justice-065

Sarah Jane Justice is a fiction writer, poet, musician and spoken-word artist based in Adelaide, South Australia. Among other achievements, she has performed in the National Finals of the Australian Poetry Slam, released two albums of her original music and seen her poetry and prose published in Australia and internationally. Find her at: on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.