1. the new men
our frustration grew to such a pitch
that we chose our new men from among the whole
breadth of creation -
one girl flirtatiously drained the water
from the hollow skull of a mythical Kappa. a second
claimed for herself the Nightshade family.
at the restaurants or in the cinema
on sultry evenings,
with favoured leather jackets, laughs of true joy
or the way the sun shone in the orchard that day -
to be taken home
and ridden like a horse.
but i don't hate my country
and night’s red eye closes
on a love-itch, a male blonde
through the empty vend-area,
then a precious drenched memorial
then a nail salon
white arms stained with the lily pollen
of regretted touching
across a floral centrepiece.
and wearing a man’s shirt.
the rain on my neck, beneath
the gaping collar
like a butterfly landing
then another -
A.K. Blakemore lives and works in London. Twice a winner of the Foyle Young Poet of the Year Competition, her work has been widely published and anthologised, appearing in magazines including Poetry London, Poetry Review, Magma & Ambit. Her debut full-length poetry collection, Humbert Summer, appeared in 2015, and her second, Fondue, is slated for release by Offord Road Books in the summer of 2018.