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AFTER LIFE

 

i
Don’t Go, I’ve Multiplied

How would you know whom I hold?
But stay, I’ve been assigned
sub-demiurges –
like a glut of
therapists 

gesticulating, corpses
steeled to relaxation,  
ghosts beyond need (though
they’re not top gods
surely) – who

turned up and pushed my truck off
the road. Now I’m like new,
mechanic girded
with spare parts. Who’ll
bifurcate?

Who’ll split? Who’ll uncan your cold
humanness? Disorgan-
ise selfness and shared
immortals care
more for you.

 

 

 

 

ii
Soliloquy, Dead Dog Revenant

I crawl – I’m used to this – through Furtive Wood.
Its roots

pick and dig urged on by caws and whirrs. ‘Why
did I

work those hours?’ my man says. He meets me now
each day

where boys circled, chanting: ‘On your belly.’
There was no

space between blows. Their bikes beamed ten lenses.
They hit

my back with rectangular wooden legs.
Paths crumble

under bramble. Blood smell. Ssslick, ssthlik,
lizards

lick the bark. Crows crack open the ferns. Doves
rattle

the trees to let me through. Sometimes badgers
unsett.

 

 

 

 

iii
Wicked Weather

In Cardio, for Lung Function,
under a pole suspending drugs,
a prison guard sits down, chained
to a bird in front.

The prisoner, wearing one of those
thin gowns that gape, stares at the wall’s
promulgation: Due to snow,
we’re spreading grit today.

The guard puts out her hand. She can’t
reach magazines to read. She rests
and their bracelets shine.

 


 

 

 

[Claire Crowther’s latest collection is On Narrowness (Shearsman 2015). Her pamphlet Bare George, resulting from a residency at the Royal Mint, was published by Shearsman in 2016. More of her poems can be heard at the Poetry Archive.]

Copyright © 2017 by Claire Crowther, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.



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