empty collection

February 10, 2007

Your mother sounded angry
on my phone. I think you’re looking for somewhere
not someone. I buy my olives and anchovies
from the Turkish supermarket, and compare your skin
with the clerk’s; hers is lined like my zebrawood table:
shadows of pitch in rivers of grain. I smile at her.

On Sunday we went to the park. I laughed as you danced
off your comedown, then grasped as you hid brown limbs
against the bark of a common oak, reminding me
of my lunar moth, whose wings tore when I dropped it,
breaking the glass case. My blue contacts
irritated me. I broke off the kiss;

you flattened yourself on a pile of leaves
and told me my eyes were the wrong shade. Too much trouble:
my guess was right as usual. Your mother’s voice scared me –
angry because at twenty three years old
you hadn’t come home. You said she molded you
into a glass statue, like the odd looking princess

in my second bedroom, but you could still see
a heart inside, folded like wings.
You asked if I saw it too; I laughed. I’ve always preferred form
to content. You bent and said you’re the kind
that gets used up quickly. Too much trouble
that one, I think through the noise
and do not pick up my phone.


* The Indian Lunar Moth sees light on the ultraviolet spectrum; to predators it looks as green as the leaf it hides against, but to another moth it is as brightly coloured as a peacock. This is how it finds a mate.

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2 Responses to “empty collection”

  1. How many angry mothers dp you know Alex!?

    This is an absolutely beautiful poem. The descriptions are so vivid and complex, and the way the narative unfolds draws you through its levels. It’s wondeful. When did you write it?You should read it out at WORD.

  2. Thanks a lot sweetie. It’s a year or so old… it’s not really about you. I told you I splice people together? She’s part you, mostly Gynelle, but the story and the narrator are fictional, obviously.

    Apologies for chopping you up: did it tickle?

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