When I snap I don’t snap

back. Creatures

we let loose to circle

the ceiling like harpies.

Guarded you from talons

with my soft back, but like cats

they raked shallow, left infections.

A box our house

locked off full of clawed Pandoras

Infinite regress of ills

that were / weren’t our fault

/ though I blamed us /

I’m difficult around verbs.

What sort of ‘doing word’

undoes us so easily?

Rifled bottles and cartons

smashed up the packaging

glass-bottomed, deep-sea distorted.

Bristled through the weeks til

what was left in the box

wrinkled up to meet us.

Corner of cardboard

shabby and ecstatic.




      for Franky

They were newly sealed

we placed planks on bricks

from kitchen to lounge

for each tacky journey.

Shuffled giggly kid greetings

he bounced long and corduroy

warped almost to the floor.

Lanky pale arms trapped hands

dangled me across to a bowed board 

prickly beard smacked a kiss on my knuckles.

I squealed! Pretended to run

the lovely danger

of being upside down and swung.

If I had a talent for divination

crystal ball/forked stick/pack of cards

I would have trapped that

away from sunlight

faded and reaching across varnish. 

poet's biography ->