It was a word in my dream. Does it actually mean anything? Who knows?

I’m a dark place that I can’t get out of. His inquest was the day before yesterday. He told me about it after he’d read news of it in the local paper. He had committed suicide. Most people had suspected that it was the case. He was too strong a swimmer. There is suggestion of something prurient, lewd, nasty. I am sorry for him, for her, for all his family. To feel that there was no way other than that is so sad, so desperate. My heart aches for him, for her, for all of them. I send her message. She responds. It is such a little thing but I wanted to say something, to communicate something like love. I hope people are being kind, I said. And I do.

I think of him often. His body was bruised and bashed and buffeted by the rocks. They covered his coffin in pictures of the town he loved so much. The town he photographed endlessly. I asked them at work if they’d covered the inquest. They had to, they said. It is public information, public property. It makes me feel grey. We all have skeletons in cupboards, things for which we are ashamed. We all fail. We all flounder.

The rains rolls down my studio window. So many loose ends. I am ragged today. Let the light come. And the sun. Shine on us. Clean us through.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.