Family Photograph

‘No-no!’ I shouted ‘the fish tank will stay in my room!’
The golden dead creature, floating on the green water,
had my mother’s face
before she went away.
I liked to keep everything neatly
in the same place where she left them,
undisturbed by the melting sun.

The dust shined
on the glass lid,
on the doll’s eye,
on my forehead
each night
when asleep in the hallway.

I sat down on the cracked lino,
covered my arms with leafs
and kept watching Clara tidying-tidying the house.
Her yellow fingers piled everything in a black bag.
She left the fish alone, with a sigh.

Looking at her moves up and down the stairs
I thought she looked a bit like
the one-winged butterfly
unable to jump out
through the shut window.

I wondered what butterfly meat tasted like,
if sliced with a silver blade;
what mother tasted like
in the moment I was released
honey coated pearl.
I put my elbow close to my lips
and smelled to see
if she was somehow hiding in there.

Clara tripped over my spread legs
but kept singing.
She did not look ahead.
I looked ahead
at each room
with a serious face.
My empty baby skin rested
on top of the rubbish bin.

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Installation: Rita Fenning

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About Wolves

We are asleep in a desert, back to back,
facing the mirrors.
My hands, behind your head, do not move.

The dog comes, takes a bite of my flesh
and goes away.
I keep still.

In a while, another dog returns to take a bite of me
and goes away.
The words seal the perfect wounds.
I catch the reflection of each letter moving,
wrapping the scars on my leg
with water knots.

At midnight, the wolves arrive to stare at me,
hungry, getting closer and closer.
I do not fight, nor howl. I let them
tear my skin apart
as you dream and sigh in your sleep.

Not me, a new born poem
comes to light at your rib, in the mud.