Letter from Virginia Woolf to Vita Sackville-West, Burley House, 1913

Lysol. Old lint. Sterile doorknobs.

I’ll be here, in this corner, licking the smell of madness from my wounds, forever.

I hang immobile, suspended 

in air halfway between insanity 

and moonlight, listening to the 

step-steps of the woman who will 

take my dulled pencils away from 


I don’t tell her I can’t eat before I’ve cleared my stomach of words. 

Eat speak nap breathe. What a weight it

is to forgive the pain for slowly 

killing you. I reach for my scalp 

and feel it smoldering still. The 

person who’s abused me 

slowly, unphysically, 

since my twelfth lifetime, gifts me 

tulips which promptly


Held by gravity in a field 

between remembering and dismembering, 

I place my pencils on my tongue 



-Maya Martin

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