Pity

I told them I was no dove. I rattled

                       my tongue

at their every flood – I told
them my sustenance

                       was no wafer –

 

                       Meat

would string and string
the road – my basophilic smear –

                       haematological.

The lovely intricate drag
of my trace – my fats silvering.

They have been

                       gutless

too long. It’s not just the purge –
their flavourless, granulising

                       Meat –

they scavenged
the grease off the planet’s

                       bone

You know, until now, I never needed

                       a heart

but even I – pitied

their marrowless hollows, before I tore
the last
                       apart –

I told them I was no dove.

 

 

 

 

No Fledgling

The downy on her arms quivers. Not weighted enough to drop.
The wind sees no layers for purpose.  It scoops her into circles.
She thinks she can take off into hard storms; forget her appetite

of ash and fog – float into mythic skies of every missed colour
and softness. No mother has ever fed her from her own throat.
She’s no fledgling – that’s long gone– her 9th birthday. Falling

should fit her well. After empty miles, bare miles, air spinning,
she knows she is her own hoax – at the bottom of Hunters’ Hill,
already a skinful of ghost, too empty to spill: This is not a body.

 

 

 

 

Floating Epistle: I

Mother, I know
you’ve had knife-tides
of death – in your body –

dissected
births – the girls.

You’ve felt hard-struck
pearls snatched
from the world –

 

daughters,
                disarticulated.

 

I want to know
about the scraping out
of each inner knot. How

girls were unstrung –
hammered
to flatness 

by suns
                         setting

behind lines –
sharpening
shapes – intractable

My rage will not burn
like a son’s –

but it will shatter
all his unbeached
glass

sea
without reflection

 

 

 

 

Floating Epistle: II

Daughter, I know
your pearl is round. I see
your slit foams, witnessing
wrongs.

I seek
                horizons too –  

not the shrunken
pip in a cup...
not the decorous twisting
nub…

but no more
adamantine line –
supine, rudimentary.

I advise you to pivot
and arc. To act –
You are a woman. Never ask
permission.

In ages of geology,
men have killed
at the curve of our hip,
the egg of our death,
our milk –

We have lived
so tight in their yanked
lines – our swollen
cusp is voluminous –  

holding a surge
of engulfment.
Let the planet fill
with sea –
and they will float
to the surface.

Fathers and sons
are afraid to know –
but we
are the waves, the waves
are angry.

 

 


[Wendy Kyle is a former English teacher, living in Scotland. Her work is in Mslexia, Poetry Salzburg Review; Interpreters House; Ink, Sweat & Tears; POEM: International English Language Quarterly; Acumen; Gutter; The Tangerine and forthcoming in anthroposcene. She has been shortlisted and commended in many international prizes, including the National Poetry Competition; Mslexia Women’s Poetry Prize; the Bridport Prize; the Brotherton Prize; the Hippocrates Prize and the Oxford University Four Corners Poetry Award, among others. She has worked as Education Coordinator for StAnza International Poetry Festival, in part, delivering workshops in hybrid forms of poetry and art]

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