a good career move
She sits on the mountain’s horizontal grass like a collapsed tent. [Peeled grape skin / everything sits new on her like a pasta bake glow.] I’ve bound her hands and feet with knotted together sports socks. The first thing she asks is if they’re clean. Getting older is the act of remembering everything that has been demanded of you. [I can see the shadow of a much smaller bull / there’s a yellow knife in my pocket.] I wonder why I needed the mountain at all. Oh. The wind on my scalp I remind myself. People have stopped asking about my plans. [It’s raining in that way where it’s coming from inside you / you know?] I suppose this is what having your foot in the doorway of hopelessness is. If anyone asks maybe I’ll say god told me to. If anyone asks maybe I’ll say god told me not to. [This venison neck. This recurring anger.]
you have no new messages
The artist once depicted a woman blessed with too much shame. [This is the future. Maria and Maria and Maria and your sister are all dead.] Our heads sit sidewards on chests like female nudes. Everyone can only see what is happening to the person next to them. Laparotomy / necrotising fasciitis / birthday party. The artist’s woman is nothing like a woman. She inspires countless reimaginings done always just behind left shoulders. The sky is aperol spritz now. A glass of Armageddon / mint leaf / loose change. Oh. I’ve forgotten how my right breast hangs. Can you tell me?
Susannah DICKEY is the author of two poetry pamphlets, I had some very slightly concerns (The Lifeboat Poetry Pamphlet #3) and genuine human values (The Lifeboat Poetry Pamphlet #6). Her work has appeared in The White Review, Ambit and The Scores.