Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Kate Garrett- Three Poems

Once you were midnight

once upon a time you were heaven sent
once you were latex & imitation leather
once you were midnight
midnight smelled of fast food
& French perfume, skin rubbed with lilies

midnight smelled of sex          
smeared on a front step
in a city where no one sees you anyway

stumbling down stairs             
to pub toilets
& your own
lemon-scented sick

stumbling down stairs into a rack                    

of imported pornography
& falling into men

who look at you
& flash pointed grins

who look at glossy twists
of tits, arms, legs

& it’s all the same –
it’s all the same if you spread & pout
or if you don’t

once upon a time you were midnight
once the sky was invisible                  

behind streetlights
& the bulb flickered



The one thing he taught her
is that most things finish crumbled
up in the grate. She watched his mam
throw an old pair of shoes in once;
rubber smoke covered the room,
oily and black. But still they burned
and burned until only the soles
remained – misshapen, changed,
lumps of them cooling outside
in the ash pan the next morning.

In the woods

We’d been along this path twice
but missed the spot. Today we stumbled
over where they found you:
‘S – in loving memory’.

So we take in the faded roses; we
read the cracked memorial engraved
with a rhyme someone draped over
your mother – like a silk mac in a hailstorm.

I search for stories on deaths
in this wood: you were twenty five.
My youngest boy crouches down

tries to understand that a young man
is still someone’s child: a Peter Rabbit mug
you’d long outgrown, ‘we miss you, dear son’,
and your name on a stone.

Kate Garrett was born thirtysomething years ago in southwestern Ohio, but settled in the UK at the back end of the 20th century. She writes poetry and flash fiction, and edits other people's poetry and flash fiction. She lives in Sheffield, England with three smalls, a cat and a folkmusicianpoet. Visit her here:

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