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Reading the stars while the place goes to seed

Three Portraits

Missing you is an elephant

it's dark grey
and wrinkled

it fills my bedroom
blocks the door, the windows
the light from the hall
and the moon outside

it stills my bedroom
I can't move
it won't budge
I can't breathe

some nights I wake
with its behind in my face
the stench is unbearable

all I can do is lie
trembling with fear
that it will flatten me

Grace Yee


your thoughts crawl in
to a packing case
nailed up a tree
sap bleeding into you
the smell of pine needles
spread across splinters
your shirt snagged on a nail
pulling threads from afternoons

from secret places
you watch yourself in a mirror
flashing signals on a horizon
shrunken to a clothesline
rain blowing in
weeks evaporating

nothing happens
in between
the years broken up
still in a box
clinging to the sea's edge
the password hidden within you
never coming down

Paula Green


Don't let me sit
mired in magazines, reading the stars
while the place goes to seed.

Don't let me spend
days strolling the malls, devote
myself to an over-cosseted dog,
neglect my friends.

Stop me if I start to say,
like she does, that the young have no manners,
the journalists no grammar,
that I'm turning into my mother.

Emma Rooksby



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