Withdrawing from Fentanyl 11 Days before a Hysterectomy after October’s Full Moon


We’re at Moonfleet
A hotel for families
on the Fleet Lagoon
a bank of water
where Chesil Beach
splits from earth itself


I’m with my son
my boyfriend
and his son
I’m unnaturally content
at peace
as though it’s game over
I explain to the boys
that in the country
or by the sea
I am my true self
I recognise myself
and what matters most


We have dinner
me and Patrick talk
over a meal
for the first time
in months
The boys are watching a film
In The Ballroom
we would’ve loved a baby together


Then we all go upstairs
For all my whole-hearted contentment
There’s a fucking shadow
it’s so fucking dark
I’m scared to look
I can only see pain
every single interaction
is me seeing
right into that fucking kernel
of pain in all of us
The bit where life tore open our hearts
spat acid on the wound
let it heal
then did the same again
but worse


It’s that place in all of us
that makes us bad
and it’s all I see
I’m pretending
it’s fucking lovely
and this isn’t happening
in the middle of a family holiday


I see it when my stepson refuses to be kind to my son
he feels unloveable
The wound in my son
makes him repeatedly chase acceptance from his older stepbrother
and how fucking rare acceptance ever truly is
It doesn’t happen when I’m looking anyway
The hurt-chain keeps
forming new links
I want to snap it
but I’m watching
all this
in bliss 


Later at bedtime
I feel the nausea
in the ensuite bathroom
with the huge
brass footed bath
in the centre of the black and white tiled bathroom
I am sick
Sick everywhere
in front of the boys
Riley stares
Blaise and Patrick are used to it


The next day after lunch
I remember to acknowledge this event
and to reassure everyone
Riley says he is often sick
after strong medication
I love him for this
and all of male company
for their ability to live in chaos
and constantly create order
by condensing everything
to a lovely sensible
nugget of reasoning


Winding along the Dorset coast
stopping at Chesil
and Lyme Regis
the sun shines
like late August
except it is nearly Halloween
and there’s still that nagging
Patrick drives fast
like he wants to get away
and I know he sees it too


On the road
I think of a Sam Cooke song
which Eddie sang
when we here last
climbing that hill on Christmas day
The first year
me and my sisters were sober
it was about a woman
from bible days
who always bled
I look to find the song on my iphone
just as we are passing that same hill


And I say to Patrick
Fucking hell
The moon the tides the womb the menstrual cycle the lunar cycle my last ever period coinciding with the full moon
The lagoon
A song about a woman who could probably do with a hysterectomy
And my brother sang this song at this very spot 10 years ago
And I’m gonna have a hysterectomy
And it all synchronises
In an absolutely beautiful
And poetic way
That is probably
As meaningful as
That handbrake
Between us
Right now
But there’s something in it for me
There has to be
And maybe nothing for you
But I love you so much


Then several days back in London
I can’t stop vomiting
On the night before Guy Fawkes Night
after handing a script to
paying Eleanor
recording with Giovanna
dropping 3 dresses to Letizia
I tear the fucking fentanyl patch from my arm
without knowing the withdrawal waiting
and what that fucking
Shadow was

                                            Clover Peake