Night shakes hurt the most.
Firm hands strangle the life
out of sedate songs.

Youโ€™re awake
breathing the curse of noise,
as dark sniggers.

The hours clang,
trees thump the ground,
damp air sharpens knives.

Prickly reminders have lodged in bones,
ill words wrestle sore blood.
A bead of mourning rolls under skin.

You lie on this rack,
hear every rotten dream;
words swoop like snatching gulls.



Julie Stevens writes poems that sometimes reflect the impact MS has on her life. Her chapbook, Quicksand, was published by Dreich (Sept 2020) and her Stickleback pamphlet Balancing Act was recently published by Hedgehog Poetry Press (June 2021). Website: Twitter @julesjumping