poem ‘the open tap’

fantastical lights from faraway places
retain their moment in time and I mine
settling myself into the gendered slurry
that is English

those lights
candles for my bath
as I stub the life from this lepisma saccharina

here’s a snapshot
it will be six months later
during a pandemic
when I finally stir myself
to clean up its corpse

grey in life, grey in death
almost indistinguishable from the grout

I can’t write today, I can’t
I’m a mote, should be mute, a little scrotey
blemish on the terrifying backside of English letters
all jealousy, a tunnel through inadequacy
reaching up through all this debris
for a garden of kindness
a shield against the noise

instead
a mask

over the top of my face
years ago I got the plague mask
years ago

and on the bottom of my face
a white rectangle, broken into diamonds
a fabric diamond on my face
I never had one for my hand
I am a metagraph of ‘something into something else’

my mind and my DNA

once I had a face and now
because I love you
I do not

Published by

Allegra

Born 1958. Not dead yet.

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