for those of us who learned to speak in therapy

Issue 2

a rumble
this breath would take our youth
in daily mute moments set
them – in a row –
before comrade, stranger, witness,
parse each word with heft
a soft succour of violence
balm of pain speech act
aerate each and every
fifty minutes to one hour
long self-indulgent diatribes
in vestibules, in offices
setting our prefixes, suffixes, in a fixed row—
of wrong and right and did me this poor way heed

me now

my voice on the wind



take one year’s state-mandated isolation call it endemic
epidemic pandemic gick ick ic ic ic ic ic
learn to speak only to yourself again
undo all your social learning
call it [selective] mutism

re-enter society monologuing —how those of us who learned to speak in therapy
were taught
to an audience speak

Lauren Foley

Lauren Foley is proudly bisexual, and disabled. She was awarded a Next Generation Artist’s Award in Literature from the Arts Council of Ireland. Her debut short story collection, Polluted Sex, is forthcoming from Influx Press, April 2022

Bealtaine Magazine

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