Two little amber beads
Darting left and right
Finding a point
In the middle distance
Almost too far
Her legs a beat behind the thought
To be there instead of here
A tulip, purple
Living in her chest
Opens and closes
Shutter speed
Its petals fraying
With the close
There instead of here
Here, where the smell is
Where the heat is
The butchers back room
On a forest floor
Pine needles for tiles
Red and black
Red and white
Red and russet
Red and pain
Red and noise
Red and nothing
so running
And pounding
And begging
And two ambers eyes
Surrounded by an ivory ring
Of terror
Meet their mark
And she’s in
And she’s down
And the horn of the beast
Cries out
As he misses his prey
The beast with fifteen dog heads
Fifteen horse heads
And fifteen heads of men
The two amber eyes close
The purple tulip slows
And she waits
For the manyheaded one to tire
Of the wait with no spoils
And saunter back
To its castle

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Crow Road

The Crow’s black back
All brittle shine
Arches as she climbs
Staring down at the ants
Playing their war games
On her path
A murder of her
Away the Crow Road
No perch to be found
And a heat tarry
A barrel scraped
She dips and coils
Feathers oil
Black then green
Leaving a jetstream
Of pollen and rust
In her fretful wake

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He picks her up
And he strokes her
And he says – purr for me
She bristles
Hair on end
Giving him a flash of green
You’re wild he smiles
I’ll break you in
Fill out your bones

And he strokes her
Pet, showcat
And when she cries
He locks her out
And when she scratches
He wraps her up
In an embrace
That feels like drowning
In a bag
Nine times and forever

When she runs
He finds her
By her tag and tales
So she paces and retraces
And finds a path untrodden
And while he’s sleeping
She steps out
Into the night
Under the halogens
And she’s gone

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The Men To My Left

Oh these tragedies
You cry
Wringing your smooth hands
The cuticles trimmed

Those poor women
How dreadful
It’s our involvement
In the politics of others
The lives of others
Our greed and thirst for oil
You wail

Not mine

And you pace
Back and forth
A tortured soul
With a cleanly shaved jaw
and steely eyes the smile won’t reach

Those poor women
While you fold your paper
Lean back
And breathe in your coffee

And a silent scream
The scream of knowing
Sits like a bullet
Resting on my tongue

Own it I scream
Own it
And then I see
You already do
And you’re trading it
Every day

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Dig out the deep
scritch scratch
Put your thumbs in first
Into my eyesockets
Clay Pots
Press and pull
At the thread
That unravels at the touch

Hold your discovery
Of me
In your palm
A caress
In place of a slap
to a needing
That won’t let up
That will keep begging

Will you dig deep
Will you find the mirror
Will you hold it up
And stare sideways
Desperate for a glance back
For acknowledgement
For recognition
For a belonging

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I stared at the oval of you
With the woodsmoke pinholes peeping out
I cried a puddle of fury into your hair
And watched it travel into the creases of the neck
Cradled as I washed you
Whilst sleeping
But awake
A twilight state
A molewoman
A skeleton coated in dough
With acid coursing
And fire hiding in ribbing
Desperate to escape

I stared at the oval of me
Your mirror
Held under a magnifying glass
with the sun beating down
The ant
Pinched between finger and thumb
Of the child
Watching me burn
And the heat building
As the sirens wailed
Ignoring the screetch
No eyes searching for the exit
Waiting for the calm

Which comes on the 73rd day
When I’ve wrapped the thread
Around the 4 fingers
When I’ve tightened it
Until the fingers blue feel nothing
When it comes I’ll bank it
Those feathery snowflakes landing
On my cheeks sinking in like lead
And I wake with an urgent panic
But you’re there by my side
Looking at me, looking at you
Knowing me
Your Mirror

For LH with love.

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He covered me in my coating
It’s for your own good
A cloying, sticky layer
It’s for your own good
He prescribed a pill
Then more
A lightening bolt to the brain
A rib removed
A jaw broken
A nose reset
It’s for your own good
He bound my hands
He bound my feet
And placed me on a shelf
It’s for your own good
He filled my insides
With child after child
It’s for your own good
He wrote all the books
He sang all the songs
He read all the plays
He spoke all the words
It’s for your own good
the lie told over
And over again
Until it’s believed
Until it’s the sun rising
Until it’s the sun setting
It’s for your own good

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