How I Knew It Wasn’t Me

By FINUALA DOWLING

I only realised I was at risk
when my brother phoned to check if I was still alive—

he’d heard it on the radio:
a woman fitting my description apparently wept
on the harbour wall before she dived.

“So it wasn’t you?”
a query rising in his tone.

I, too—as I replied—couldn’t help sounding
unconvinced,
as if searching for stronger proof.

After verbally confirming my existence,
I walked to the bay window and considered
the breakwater, the beacon
the beckoning sea
and the woman who jumped in my place.

 

 

Finuala Dowling‘s poetry collections include I Flying, winner of the Ingrid Jonker Prize; Doo-Wop Girls of the Universe, joint winner of the Sanlam Prize and Notes from the Dementia Ward, winnter of the Olive Schreiner Prize.

Click here to purchase Issue 04

How I Knew It Wasn’t Me

Related Posts

The Hundertwasser House in Vienna

Etude No. 2 and Etude No. 3

KIM CURTS MATTHEUSSENS
in Rome a monumental marble typewriter / ticked out their story into the sky: two lovers / devour time. she lay on the lawn near Trajan's / column. he plucked letters from her dress, / her hair, served them to her by hand, by mouth.

Image of an intensely green trailhead.

December 2022 Poetry Feature: Kevin McIlvoy

KEVIN McILVOY
On mine spoil. In debris fields / of asphalt and concrete and brick. / Upon sites of chemical spills. / Along lifeless riverbanks. / In clonal groves so hardy you / have to steel yourself for years / of killing to kill one acre. / Where construction crews rake off / the surface

field spotted with red flowers

December 2022 Poetry Feature

TOMMYE BLOUNT
It feels good grazing against my skin, / all that satin and muslin—a high / thread count to tuck in / the American Dream. Embroidery / and tassels fit for men like me / who would pay a good buck / to be a part of this invisible kingdom. / Ah! This flair for pageantry / seen in a film—