At times it is all over, though mostly on my back. There is no rash, no evidence of disturbance. I try not to respond, to itch. I practice detachment, a separating from my physical self. It works when I concentrate. He tries to help and reads out a long list of possible causes, some frightening, others not so. None of them ring true. It’s the M word, I’m sure of it. That gradual dying of the young self, the physically vital self. So be it. Let it come. I will bear it, millions have done so before me. It saddens me sometimes, there is much lost, and yet what is gained? A promise of death, of departure. Yes. That is OK by me. I shall miss much but I already have one foot outside the door.

Our last days as Europeans. Now that is sad. But I still claim allegiance and always will. I am not one thing. I am a child of many cultures, as are all of us. Do your worst. We will defy you internally, holding true our notions of communuality, brotherhood, sisterhood and belonging to a bigger world, border-free.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.