‘Hello Goodbye’

By Orlagh Davies


My reclusive muscles are reckless with their

Jackal-peals of laughter in an under-oxygenated

Kitchen, their hides turning to a cow-finesse of

Infamy, oh to be bed-ridden in the sour creams,

What an adventure. These teeth


As witness to the prosecution’s calling siren

Emerging, colossal, from the sink where Sunday’s

Potato peelings lie unused and become confetti

For this bride’s homecoming, beastly and with many knives.

She sees the jugs and the cheese and deems it manly

Only to throw them at the walls and bolted door

Being feckless in pursuit of nothing and something

From before, we’ll call it a personality. And there



A great wailing from the dock and the evidence

Turns menacing, it may kill this person it may, it may

Lame blame upon their legs and they will drink

Sardines from a milkjug as punishment for their crimes,

Ghastly. And the bolt is close to impotence, the

Siren is screaming, hair torn out, there is nearly nothing left

She is scalping herself and making ribbons from it

As a birthday present for a four-month-old giggle. And now

The judge changes her mind as the siren call turns

To smelling salts and peppers and teases the jury

By dancing on the radishes, naked as the sun

And she has eaten the moon, this is kinship and

Monarchy, a lady in waiting.


Photograph: Anna Gibbs


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