KATHERINE LOCKTON co-edits South Bank Poetry magazine. She runs regular poetry workshops for beginners and advanced poets. Her poetry has also been published in The Dark Horse, Northwords Now and Magma. Twitter:@poetkat @poetbank
My baby cousin, scared of rain,
hugs himself into a foetus
and wraps himself in himself.
His older brother lies by him in bed.
Baby cousin has been like this
always his mum says.
Later Baby tells me his other fears:
Anabel, Chucky and the Weegee Board.
Their mami cannot stop the boys growing
or their moustaches forming
though she tries, waxing the elder’s
until the beautician tells her stop.
The fridge we crawled into to hide as kids
is now bust; door swinging on its hinge.
Remember the cold, how we let
it colour us light blue?
I can still see your tiny fingers gripping
the plastic as I shut you in one last time.
You said I closed the door on purpose,
that when it jammed it was me pushing.
When really I was pulling, pulling, face
crunched up into a fist.
You, After Brautigan
I was trying to describe you to an old woman
I met on the number a hundred
and thirty one bus on the way to meet you
except you don’t look like anyone
I’ve ever seen before
I couldn’t say, he looks like Harrison Ford
(because you don’t)
and I couldn’t say he has dark hair
that’s ashing at the sides so
instead end up saying you’re like
a pigeon but she doesn’t understand
so I say you’re a pen that endlessly writes
except I know you wouldn’t agree
so end up saying you’re
a song I heard on the radio when I was still
a teen in London in nineteen ninety eight
I say the song‘s about growing up having no money
always wanting more and not getting it
I say that its notes go really high
so high that you think you’re going deaf
but you can’t stop listening
and then when you think you know the song
it goes really really low so it hurts to listen
but still you want to
and you realise that’s the song you
want to listen to
because that’s what I see when I look at you
that’s all I see.
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