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KATE NOAKES

Oyster on the tideline

 

 

 

Not that I’m shy about my flesh

though I wish it less scarred and southern

 

there are few men who have seen

me naked. You join them now 

 

for this intimacy. Private, away from 

all, you tell me to disrobe.

 

Unblinking I obey. There’s something

about the light on this shore

 

that makes it natural, like salt worn boards

or prized flint pebbles

 

but when I propose a streak from hut

to the sea, you explain the limits.

 

Civilisation and the neighbours

who’ll, no doubt, be first in line

 

to see me posed on the blue sofa in oils.

 

Crime of passion domestic violence counting

 

  1. I’m shallow-breathed, flat under the table and
     

  2. aching everywhere, as a blood tear meanders into my hair and
     

  3. sink-holes in my ear, stopping the echo and
     

  4. I fix on the rough planks, biroed and
     

  5. crayoned by one of the girls, I know not which, and
     

  6. this from years ago, I’ve not seen before and
     

  7. I wonder when, or why, and
     

  8. what was I doing? or where was I? at the time and
     

  9. the stick figure mother smiles green, flashes red teeth and
     

  10. waves her long purple hands, and.

Turning over, Daphne

I was paper thin

thin skinned

flaking

an avocado stone

set plump on a tripod

over a water dish

 

soaking

my wax body

till I cracked

 

split to my fat neck

as if liquid

would be the death of me.

 

Three sticks arrowed my flesh

so deeply

may have been a thousand

 

and yet

a root began, translucent

tentatived into fluid

 

stretched, branched

strengthened

boldened

 

from my head, a cotelydon

a pair of young leaves

a stem, more.

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