Karen Downs-Barton

STALKER IN THE FOG: Fibromylagia

Listen to the audio version.

Like a shadow, Fibro follows,
attached to my soles with needle-
sharp nothings. Mindful of my
waywardness, he likes to stress my
dependence, holding hands, benevolently
fusing skin with a thin fizz
of electric shocks.
By day he sends a cloak of fog,
wrapped lovingly about me,
blotting out communication with other friends.
By night he swaddles me, tightly, muscles
aching with constriction and longing
for physical memories of dancing,
freedoms, long gone. To distract
a focussing mind
he whispers worries, slips caffeine-soaked
intoxication into my bloodstream
and sits watching over me
like a jealous lover.


Karen Downs-Barton is a dyslexic / neurodiverse poet studying The History of Art with Creative Writing BA at the Open University. She lives in Wiltshire, UK, near Stonehenge and her non-poetic occupations include magician's assistant and belly dance tutor. Karen is the founder and co-editor of Matryoshka Poetry and is published in Alyss, The Goose, The Curly Mind, Three Drops From A Cauldron, Poetry WTF. Her work can be found at: The Paper-Cut Poet.