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THREE Poems /
OYSTERS
    & CLOTHES
& INTERIM

Emma MACKILLIGIN 



OYSTERS


        The first time I ate oysters
        was with you & you
        watched as I tilted my head
        & swallowed the slime
        & I laughed at the salt
        on my insides
        because I like salt & you
        laughed too
        because I didn’t vomit.



        The first time
                with you & you
        watched as I
               swallowed the slime
        &   laughed at the salt
        on my insides
                                         &
        laughed
                      I didn’t vomit.



        The         time
                                     you

                             tilted my head
                                the slime
                                the salt

             my insides
                                       you
        laughed
                        I         vomit.



I DON’T KNOW HOW TO CLOTHE
THIS LOVING BODY


           *

        Since this morning I have lain here
        almost naked on your leopard print
        avoiding eye contact with appliances.
   
           *

        I have so many ideas about the things that I’m not.

           *

        My body floats somewhere around.

           *

        People don’t really want to know about it.

           *

        Why is it that loved ones place so much weight?

            *

        I blame photos of myself       & other women.

            *

        Is it possible to exchange memory for tightness?

            *

        When I was small-scale I didn't know how to love.

            *

        Now I am enormous.

            *

        It’s easy to forget which parts are temporary.

            *

        There is nothing I want more.

            *

        Oh, baby, what should I be aiming at?

            *

        All I really want is to be admired.



INTERIM


        I heard a light bulb  
        described as a solid piece of light  
        & all I could think of were the filaments  
        vibrating  
        squirrel caged & possessing  
        some kind of liquidity like that  
        of this moment in which I'm standing  
        on this floor & not the one above
        searching
        for my reflection in the taps & in the light bulbs  
        as I tilt my chin upwards. Lately  
        I tend to study limbs 
        in search of hard lines  
        & tight angles  
        to justify a recent fear  
        of disappearing elbows. I've also taken to biting
        that lip between two fingers
        & wondering if the flesh
        will swallow the joint while I
        avoid the full length
        & think of how I'd like to own things    
        like a crocheted swimsuit
        & a jar of maraschino cherries.




Emma MACKILLIGIN is a poet and woman.
She lives in London.






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Hotel is a magazine for new approaches to fiction, non fiction & poetry & features work from established & emerging talent. Hotel provides the space for experimental reflection on literature’s status as art & cultural mediator. The magazine is bi-annual, the online archive is updated periodically.



     

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