i. genesis

the flood came earlier than the weathermen
expected; the prophets predicted it first.
the maintenance-man left

a note under a scrap heap of once-used
baking trays and rotting pots to stress the fact
that there was a mouse problem and

the kitchen which could only comfortably fit
one person, the kitchen with the window stubbornly ajar
in february, was a communal, capital c, place.

ii. exodus

our generation: drunk on lethargy, like noah
after he planted his vineyards,
collapsed back onto appropriated lands.

and, with a crooked smile, noah maneuvered his penis
with sticky fingers, like a three year old in a bath tub;
while staring into a once indigo sky.

iii. leviticus

the rainbow wasn’t legally enforceable—
just an iridescent half-circle with a paler sibling inside it;
and a promise that there would never be another

flood, a flood,
a bloody

iv. numbers

the note, now decorated in grease spots and water stains,
still sits on the cluttered counter— three weeks have passed.
and i, stupidly empathetic, grow weak

as its every single word pulls at my eyes

like hooks. i turn on the water, twist the tap as far to
the left as it will let me, and finally throw a dollop of
soap over drowning dishes. ashes to ashes, and all that.

v. deuteronomy

i should have watched, i knew that there was a clog;
instead i hid my shame under an unwashed blanket and began
the mechanic motions of bringing myself to climax.

closer, closer, the water began to trickle, pant
pant, over the side of the sink, oh, oh, and started
kissing the floor, oh, yes, yes, until the floor drowned, ahhh.

enjoying the smell of my moisture, i close my eyes
and lean back into a sorry excuse for a pillow, and fall
into sleep listening to a murder’s cawing gossip.

vi. the book of malachi

it wasn’t the dove who found the olive leaf,
they got it wrong. it was the raven. o, fuck—
the water.



oh, and will— are you any good
in the sack? i was
just wondering a bit lately

because since that night
we held hands, for
no reason, i’ve had you in mind.


i’ve been busy
seducing lilies,

that cost me enough to feed
a generic child in a third world country

for an extended period of time.
the florist forgot to remove the anthers.


we finally happened,
and i didn’t
want to touch you.

stretched out like a modigliani
couple, on sheets that haven’t been washed
since the queen’s birthday, you won.

sunday morning the snow fell in clumps,
the last lily yawned, and
you told me i was beautiful.


oh, and will— william, are you any good
at removing anthers? the florist forgot
and now the white tablecloth is stained.


“saturday was fun”,
said the boy with the whole name,
and patted me on the shoulder

Sieve Fingers


She passed away last week,
and all John had to say was
‘my mum said that you looked very
put together at the funeral.’

She died on Sunday, 11:32 am;
the doctor must have been wrestling
with the monolithic paper.
Called time of death five hours post mortem;
refusing to return lost time.

She’s grabbing at breaths,
I’m afraid that if I really hold
her limp hand, it will crumble.

When I was eight the priest gave me
a porcelain icon of the Virgin.
And his sandpaper voice told me:
‘Hold this when you are in need of the Lord’s help’.

When she was diagnosed I held that icon
everyday, wishing vague concepts of cancer away.
My grip progressively constricting with
Every unanswered prayer,

Until it broke into pieces and fell through my fingers.


When the doctors told her, she didn’t know
how to respond— a smile simply rippled across her lips.
She turned around for a moment, and

bit down, hard; then she faced them once more
“No,” she said
“they’re wrong. You’re wrong.” as if
correcting a fourth grader’s arithmetic.

And then she walked out, leaving them
looking blankly on.

When the doctors told her, everything
went silent, everything except the hum,
of florescent lights.

I imagine her looking up to see
what it exactly was invading that moment,
only to see the decorative black
splotches of dead flies against white lights.

And then she walked out, leaving the
doctors looking blankly on.

When the doctors told her, I wasn’t there.
The only thing I really know is that she left,
and bought a pair of a thousand dollar pearl earrings.


Grandma hasn’t erased the to-do list
on the blackboard behind her door, yet.

It is spring now, in the grocery stores
they are selling daffodils.


Thick, dripping clouds
smeared across a, nearly,
robin(egg)-blue sky.

If I were religious
I would picture God, the chef,
(draped in a “kiss the cook” apron)
taking a whisk covered
in freshly whipped cream,
flicking his wrist, with artistic finesse,
painting the sky (except the sun)
for my aesthetic pleasure.

Unfortunately I will have
to come to terms with
the fact that those puffs are
merely condensed water,

and God isn’t.

Au Revoir

I would like to bottle this moment,
this feeling; and leave it to gather dust,
until I find that I miss the taste
of damp air, and the tickle of that last sunset.
(which was pathetic and gray)

Unfortunately this moment,
these brushes of skin, are ephemeral
and time, they say, “waits for no man.”
So, I am left only to capture this
in black and white;
which will grow yellow and be buried
under my future pile of tax receipts.

Let the years pull at my skin,
let them steal the gold from my hair;
just never let them take away my memories.


Shaped with creamy yellow broom,
delicate pink meadowsweet,
and soiled hands she was forced not to live
but to comply with the duties of wife
to a man who never desired her.

Shaped by filthy hands and
the sex organs of plants,
she sat in the dim kitchen watching
skin form over the stew
that had taken hours to make, as he
wined and dined with supple flesh
while she watched embers crumble.

It seemed only right when Goronwy came
with praises and promises of love,
to smile coyly and play along,
it was only fair.

Never to see or feel the warmth
and tickle of a beam of sun
against satin skin, was a price.
But to be rid of the qualms
that come with being human
was more than worth it.

Dogon Figure

As the wine is poured and the cubes of cheese circulate
in an attempt to cut the tension of people
sitting awkwardly in a too perfect room,
I look around trying to find something to interest me,
a book or a sculpture to ask my pleasant smiling host about.

If one is to sit awkwardly sipping wine
and stuffing cubes of cultured gruyere into one’s mouth
one will be not be invited back
into this world of too perfect people
in their pristine rooms.

Quickly, I must find something to jar this silence
before someone else takes the limelight.
Not the newspaper, not the carpet or the draperies.
Aha, I found it. A small wooden figurine sitting
atop an impressive book shelf with well aged
copies of Voltaire, Descartes, Nietzsche and others
who sit lonely like their wines,
aged to perfection but never opened.

She sees my fascination
and flashes her bleached teeth
as she recounts a tale
of how her husband got it
from an Indian Shaman
in British Colombia.

I smile.
I know that ebony figurine
is an African fertility carving—
clearly stripped of its magic
in this place.

Cauterizing Eve

The swooping swallows
had been replaced;
night like a thick charcoal line
had settled across the mountains

I’d heard about the ceremony before,
but this was my first time.

Cautiously I stood at the back
of the snaking line of
chatting children, while the first
golden tongues began to lick
the crackling palm leaves.

The bravest of them bounded over the fire
as it snatched at their heels.

Finally it was my turn,
mesmerized by the flames I began to bound—
it only took two steps for me to trip
over the folds of my skirt.
It was then that I realized that
I would be unable to jump,
and so would be tainted by sin
for another year.


Its husk is peeling,
like varnish off a worn bench.

The conch gathered dust on a shelf
in the solarium of my grandparents’ house
until Grandpa’s heart stopped.

The conk is gathering dust, again,
as it sits on my radiator.
I never asked Grandma where it came from,
but I bet it was a beautiful beach.
Not this sterile white beach
that you see in a Club Med ad;
but one with stones and weeds.

Its husk is peeling,
like varnish off a worn bench;
and I can’t help running my fingers
over its sharp lip and then
chipping away the dry skin,
bit by bit.


The trees have succumbed to
spring’s firm grip,
allowing lacy flowers
to decorate their awkward branches.
And a humming bird prods
willing apple blossoms
searching for the remaining sweet sips,
which have been forgotten
by the droves of bees.

What if I were to call
these frail flowers masculine?
Would this change the meaning and
make this image deeper,
more sexually charged?
Would supple petals become stiff,
and the hummingbird wince
when forced to swallow sour nectar?

Flowers are merely sex organs;
the sky splits open and
they crumble.


The vinyl hasn’t changed,

it’s still uncomfortable, sticky,
and has the lingering odour of people
(I will never know).

The motion— jerky— erratic.

The frosted windows— still fogging from human
heat, though the temptation to curl my hand
up, press it against the cool condensation,
then peel my warm fist— carefully— away, and
tickle fingertips across the cool surface
drawing awkward toes,
no longer tempts me.

There is no longer a need, nor is there space,
for imprints of premature feet.


A tribute to Elizabeth Siddal

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Slowly, she pulls on the heavy white gown,
which has grown damp and dull.
Her pale legs dip into the marble bathtub.
She stifles a hoarse cough,

as she lowers herself into the maze
of white layers that drift upwards
attempting to escape.

“You are truly her, dear,
down to the last detail,”
he whispers as his dark eyes travel
across her porcelain face,

and down to her rose coloured
nipples which peek through the
now off-white fabric.

Her wet tongue touches cracked lips, and
the craving begins to take hold.
“What flowers will I hold today?”
she questions, occupying her mind.

His muscular hand reaches towards her,
pushing her head down into the ice-cold water.
Her brittle hand reaches
as she gasps at air, and

red tendrils drift around,
threatening to garrotte her.

“Violets, crownet weeds and poppies, dear,”

he smiles as she struggles to breathe.
“I love you,” she says hoarsely,

and no one listens.


They’re almost here;
you can feel the tension.
It’s been mounting since the first day
that mound of snow in my back yard
began to melt: a mound so monstrous
that it needed to lean against the length
of my house’s brick belly
to heave up its great weight.

That was five weeks ago.

It’s not so much that I want the leaves
to come back(though it would be nice)—
it’s simply that the trees are tired of being naked
and you can tell.