“These prose poems I’ve ‘completed’ take their cue from the shifting of ‘indeterminate shades and hues’ found within the multiple drafts of the original. The poetic drafts are deeply concerned with the physicality of bodies and domestic gestures. Here, I’ve calibrated that affinity for corporeal gestures and its slightly surreal rendering into three different versions, like ascending musical keys, with the first poem being the most concerned with the physicality of the domestic setting. Images scattered throughout the drafts are also used in those varying shades and hues. My intention was to preserve the multitudes of the original, to some extent, in its various drafts.”



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At once a stifled moan and the edges are being smuggled in while I am broadly asleep. The hinges have been oiled and the walls ache heavily. Beware the mirror in which the rain comes down as a sleet of needles and so hold the pricked finger stealthily aloft. On the kitchen table squares of crust shiver in the bread-crumbs of their black cavities. Under the window and upon your lower back a perfect block of butter hardens into a bar of yellow light that plays upon the white tiled floor with a thud-thud-thud. And oh oh look what you made me do now a disappearance and the sense of a longing forsaken.





I calibrate you against a toothache from when I lost my front teeth after biting into an apple. I was eight and new to tender gums. Sweet juice was complicated by the metal of blood. It was a rhythm I had expected to stabilise and eventually cease, a measurement against other pains.

My skin dents in puddles made deeper by people pacing outside. The floor floods into sun and I walk on light and break an ankle. I leave a trail, pure ochre leaking from my toes. My lower back shifts to a lighter shade of yellow, almost mustard. You look away and I am no longer held by your sight. I want to ask: did you? On the cusp of your inner wrist is the jagged start of a breath as my hand reaches for yours.





All the rugs have been recollected from every floor. There was a time when they had been viable, but now such a time has vanished from everyone’s memory. Learn the new synonym for time—its replacement: a butterfly wing, abiding by its own meter, purring.

Had there been a promise of salvation? Look: The start of violence, in isolation, holds the remote beauty of awakenings.

We kneel upon the rugless floor and pray: Let us relinquish the beauty so we are held by it no longer.


What’s left? The wind stirs underfoot. The general pallor reads poorly. A mournful sound can be heard, like that of trumpeting elephants. We cup our ears in bath water to wash out death’s sour note. We brush past each other in the hallway, nodding mutely, each uniquely wounded in ways we cannot—must not—speak of. We wait. There are ghosts in this house, collapsible like folding chairs to be put away. Sometimes, no one knows exactly when until it happens of its own accord, we pull them out and sit talking shop about trauma, rage, delusion, like it’s a fancy party and everyone’s invited. And then some flicker of the beauty we once witnessed comes back into view, startling and vividly far from pathetic. Amid stopped clocks we climb into our prayers and decide to stay.