Then came the day that we saw a cloud attached to a parachute,
heading down towards us…
We caught the cloud lovingly,
and asked if it wanted to stay with us…
It asked to keep the parachute on, and we let it…
And we took the cloud to bed with us, one by one,
not to sleep with it, but next to it…
We felt so wonderful with our arms wrapped around the cloud…
When it slept, it breathed like the sound inside a shell…
We were jealous when it slept
next to someone else…
We asked it to stay, and held it too tightly…
Before it left, it told us it would be back soon, but that it was a cloud,
and part of being a cloud was needing to move around…
We would have to open the window wide for it,
let it squeeze past us to get out…
We would watch it push itself into the sky
and parachute into the next house…
We felt a heavy rain in our stomachs…
I would die for you in the best way possible
As soon as you walked up to each other, you knew
the bench in a snowstorm was edible. One of you felt
like a shark egg, the other felt like I do
constantly: stepping on a just-mopped ﬂoor.
You listened to each other breathing as you walked
up the stairs, lungs like twisted straws:
one of you struggling, and the other steady
as the floor levelled. I looked at girls with fried eggs
printed on their skirts, tried to remember the face
of someone who told me they liked my t-shirt,
went back to the café eight months later in hope
of ﬁnding them. One of you felt cellulite through
your leggings, the other felt like I do sometimes:
ashamed when the microwave stops.
You thought about how things might have been
different, like candle pin being the most popular
form of bowling; if only the goggles had been red;
if only you didn’t mind being seen together,
pink tiles in a light green bathroom.
Self-portrait as a pink dressing room
Crack an egg in half and see
how a person always
has a story about finding
a chick inside the shell,
and then you’d dream of
this person doing the saddest thing:
making their own birthday cake.
They would pick two flavours
that reminded them of someone,
strawberry and rhubarb, forgetting
that one will overpower
the other. Sadder still,
to put some in your mouth
and find it has gone sour.
Imagine everyone decided
to wear the blue of a J-Cloth
on the same day, but you wore pink.
I leave ﬂour on my clothes so
it looks like I’ve been touched.
I hid fish in my pockets and forgot about it for days After Jane Wong
Anything that is not a vegetable is evil.
When we eat, our souls become heavier, like wet ﬂour.
I splatter tomato juice up the tiles on purpose; I am dangerous.
Ceremony is another word for obsession.
I am honest enough to realise that.
To see success, look at the glassiness of eyes in photographs.
To see failure, well, you know what to do.
How terrible to feel locked out of life, to not know the secret.
My mother calls to tell me the bad news she has been hiding.
She taps the phone anxiously; you suffer so much already.
Remember: you’re not as good at hiding things as you think you are.
on days when the dirt gets in my eyes I hide in the back of an ice cream van I know this is the last place you think I’d be but the embrace of the inside of a chest freezer is everything I need if you toss and turn on the wrappers of ice creams you can hear the sea once I was lying in there and a bead of sweat ran from my armpit to my elbow then I really knew that I was alive yes I have shaved my legs using soft serve and yes I have passed the time building towers from chocolate ﬂakes peering out the window at the road and snapping it shut when someone wants something from me seeing how long I can keep my hand between the magnums before it goes numb playing the ice cream van music and singing along sometimes I think there is a secret code between ice cream vans and what happens if I don’t know the distress signal what if I need someone to run to me like they’ve just been given pocket money I feel calmer when I am listening to the insides of the oyster shell wafers or writing my name in chocolate sauce I have discovered that an overripe strawberry makes an excellent lipstick
Garments I have dreamed of but will never wear
A beige mackintosh hanging on the back of the door –
I am waiting for the person; the peeling
of a squash or the folds of their dark green scarf;
squares of light on the wall, or the person tucking in
the label sticking out the back of my dress,
a lemon-shaped trinket dish, or an enamel pot for tea;
oysters cracked open on an unmade bed of noodles:
the feeling that I am doing something very, very wrong
with the person; then the person’s jumper with ﬂuff
of a dandelion, and ﬁgs sliced open – inner-lip pink;
or I am standing at a pedestrian crossing looking up
at the person, wanting to touch their sleeve; or the person
turns to me as I am driving, listening to what I say.
11 Cloud Appreciation Society
12 I would die for you in the best way possible
13 Wooden doll, total being
14 Immersive experience of all the things I want for myself
(that are bad for me)
17 How much longer until I get this out?
18 I wanted Agent Cooper to save my life
20 Sponge cake, pound cake, gateau
21 there is no marine snow here, my friend
22 Self-portrait as the opening of a window on a hot morning
23 Organisational Skills for the Hungry
26 Milk, Strawberry, Sugar
27 The omission is meaningless
28 M’s letters to tumblr
32 Like other women
33 I hid ﬁsh in my pockets and forgot about it for days
34 Siesta for Olivia
36 All our problems began with a woman eating
37 On feeling my eggshell heart break
38 Jen’s Sweet Shop
40 i am driving for hours tonight; i didn’t bring snacks
41 I could cry, yes, I could
42 It’s no longer about us, it’s got to be about me
44 Elegy for Balto from the Bottom of a Frozen Lake
46 Quayside of Dogs
47 Self-portrait as a pink dressing room
49 Bread, orange, aura
50 Oyster Delight
52 if you’re near the park, come ﬁnd me, i’m having a picnic
53 Still life of newspapers folded on a bistro set
54 Sunday roast on a dark wood table
56 I try to make sense of things by standing very close to windows
58 Tell me if you prefer your carrots as sticks or coins
and I’ll always remember
59 Garments I have dreamed of but will
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