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Hinterland

You follow your mind to the brink,
knife-glint in the shadow of the Scott monument.
Your face hides your thoughts, your inner life shifts

like trams down the street’s conveyor belt,
beyond the clock with the broken face.
Your brows mute your thoughts, your inner life twists 

in this city that views the world in arguments.
But not you.  You’re empty as a stage post-song,
trapping your mind at the brink,

savouring newly wet textures,
the anvil-like castle in its rock bed.
Your eyes veil your thoughts, your inner life stays rich

when silence encloses your words, cleaving a place
for your outer and inner lives to meet.
Your mind races to the brink

in the rippled shadow of Scott monument,
pretending to be someone else. Your inner life lifts.
This is actually you: the light in left eye’s view,
on the other side of the street.

 

 

 

Kindness

Some kindnesses we’ll never know. It’s not our fault,
nor is west-bound traffic, nor when baths overflow.
In a gentler world there’d be no rear- view mirrors,

mother figures, and empty seats would merely be
vessels scooping light, like the brief glow
of kindness. It won’t be our fault

to have wondered, in our mind’s secret forest,
whether to have none or three children
or chosen work over love. In a gentler world

there’d be lunchbox notes, fresh mended sleeves
a hand sweeping your brow for rain that didn’t fall,
kindnesses we may never. No, it’s not our fault

nor are broken lights or busted seams and night windows
wouldn’t reflect the haggard contours of your face,
but the blush of other folk’s lights. 

Before our arms were arms, before we knew our names
before atoms fused with atoms to become cells,  it was decided:
some kindnesses we’ll never know. It’s not our fault            
the world is gentle as needles, engines,  or crows.

 

 

 

 

No. 18

Our new flat says, here is some brokenness for you,
cracks in the exterior and a pale pilot light.
It’s not about fixing, but the coming to terms

with the sudden winds of ventilators,
casual blooms of flooring mould.
Our new flat says, here are some truths for you:

your house is broken and  you’re broken too.
We sell our time for visions of grandeur
& it’s not the fixing but the coming to terms,

slick plastering over past hurts, 
testing the strength of glue and boards.
Our new flat says, here’s more broken things for you

a gash in the door like a wailing mouth;
so you walk by, walk back to soothe the lip.
It’s not about fixing, but the coming to terms

with the flailing axe, it’s blissful swing
each hit so much like agony, it’s what it must mean.
It’s not about fixing or terms, you say,
but surviving the weight of the universe.

 


 

[Theresa Muñoz was born in Vancouver, Canada and  lives in Edinburgh. She is Research Associate at the Newcastle Centre for Literary Arts at Newcastle University and an organiser of the Newcastle Poetry Festival. She has a PhD in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow. Her work has recently appeared in Poetry Review, Wild Court, Canadian Literature, and A Year of Scottish Poems. She has published one collection, Settle which shortlisted for the Melita Hume Poetry Prize. In 2018 she won a Creative Scotland Muriel Spark Centenary Award and a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship.]

Copyright © 2019 by Theresa Muñoz, 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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