Issue 12

Summer 2014



The floorboards in the room were bare. She said,
I may not live to see it done. No doubt,
her irritation, the awkward fact of death,
an awkward pair, for me. Around her mouth,
the thin black lines had been tapped in by months
of chemo. He wants to bring them up,
she said, and close the gaps. Not long
ago she’d danced, her dress had flared and sung
with butterflies. I saw, after she’d gone,
the dress still in the cupboard – but her lungs,
her skull, her spine, her liver, they were gone.
The kitchen was a mess as well, the dust
she’d had no choice about, bare wires. She bore
it all, our rage, our fear, the gutted hall.


Natalie Shaw