I was harvesting slime with my concubine
From the quarries down Llangolman way,
When I saw my face in a ditchwater pool.
My reflection proceeded to say,

“This was not what I wanted from my future.
This was not how I pictured my lot.
I once had a clear destination in mind,
But the byways I’ve somehow forgot.”

So I put my boot through the glass of the pool
Before he could waste more of my time;
But I lost my grip at the rim of the cliff,
And my boot scuffed and slid on the slime.

I woke in the wet of the quarry’s main pit,
With my toes and my fingertips numb.
A sharp pain in my back like something had slipped,
And my skin baked to scabs by the sun.

She stood there, up above me, my concubine,
With the rest of my women and whelps.
I could tell by the look of the lot of them
There was no use my asking for help.

“Why does the world always feel like it’s ending?”
I whispered. “It always is,” she said.
And she took my spice, and my rocks and my knife;
And the lot of them left me for dead.


Appears in:

Poetry Birmingham, Issue 1 [2019]
In the Men’s Room [201?]

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