Alexandra Horton

Alexandra Horton

I live in a room

The circumference

Of a human fist

But the me in residence

Never answers

No matter how insistent

The inquisitor


She billows, damask,

Not quite diaphanous

Like the petal of an iris

That curious strip of yellow

The glitter of a crown

Once-adorned but now lost


I hate her most of all

The bearer of keys

Fastener of locks

There’s no persuading her

And we sit alone

Sewn into one another

Like a hem and I being

The excess

Of a partial circumcision

Cannot assert myself

As the subject


Each in our corner

Catering, crooning, crying out

In voices that lift and lower

As an organ and of a similar temperament.

I thread her hollows into the knots

That clutter my abdomen

But I cannot fill her

Just as she cannot empty me


We are spinsters us two

Grooming our hirsute armaments

As if pure bred Persians

We could not be more incompatible 

Chewing on blades of grass

Blue as the portraits on China

We nod and nod but always

An eye open between us

Like an alien head dipping down

From a multi-runged heaven

To dissect the philistines caged within


13 responses to “Dementia

  1. You’ve captured dementia! I was a care-giver to my mother who had dementia, and parts of your poem sound like her, and her life. (Even if this was not the intent!

  2. what a great opening the room the size of a fist conveys the mood straight out…the comparison to an organ of similar temperment was another really cool line…

  3. Another piece stems from a mind that is brimming with understanding running deeply through the valleys and ravines of human minds and existence.

    Totally moving and emotive as you seem to have really delved into the spirit of being captured and “tortured” by the robber baron – dementia.


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