I Wear Other People by Rosaleen Lynch

I wear other people. Their clothes, their shoes, their hair and skin and bones. An organ might not fit, or a limb might creak, or a muscle groan. Adjusting to auditory and visual signals takes its toll. And practice. A new residence is wearing on the soul.

I fill the hollows first. This morning a mouth open in a scream into her lungs where deployed I keep the heart beating until I am her and I lift what is now my body from the pine-needle bed and find my other plimsoll and put it on as if it will make all the difference to my stumble out of the forest to flag down a car where I leave her in the arms of a stranger to find herself again. 

This afternoon I am dragged into a yawn. Sucked into the cavernous mouth and through the sinus pain into the brain to fill the empty space of boredom with serotonin daydreams and in the evening I slide inside a moan of deferred pleasure to slip down the throat and catch, and with a gulp, trigger the fluttering, pour the heat into the core. In the morning, travelling with a hunger pang, I find my way on wafts of toasted bread through the nasal passage directly to fill the empty belly until it can once more be filled with food. 

The sigh is the most temperamental. The shortest lived and the greatest depths of quarried desperation. There I fill the void born from loneliness, regret and sorrow with another’s joy. 

I wear other people. Walk in their shoes. Give them some respite and leave them to feel themselves again.

Rosaleen Lynch, an Irish community worker and writer in the East End of London, pursues stories conversational, literary and performed. Words in Jellyfish Review, EllipsisZine, Fish, Mslexia, The London Reader, Litro and other lovely places and can be found on Twitter @quotes_52 and 52Quotes.blogspot.com

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