Abegail Morley



Ever since I remodelled my sister’s hair
they’ve hidden scissors, pen knives,
sometimes needles in a locked room.
The key’s hidden under a stone somewhere
in the nettled-yard. I recognise its glint,
slip it in my shirt pocket, squeeze it
in my schoolboy’s hand, release cutlery,
tweezers, a small toffee hammer.
I make loud thumps on tiles, run fingers
down walls until paper curls under nails,
holler up the hallway, kiss the cat’s paws,
taste dead bird. I snort like a pig,
take radiator-draped knickers,
wave them flag-like, break my heart
so parts of it can’t be found. I roll marbles
in the dark, hear occasional clinks,
crawl upstairs, pins between lips,
wait for the moon to throw up her arms
then tack them down like a cold-slabbed
corpse that insists it’s murder. I snatch
a twist of her hair from under my pillow,
coil it around my fingers, stretch it
to full-length until each strand tears.
I crack knuckles like nuts, fasten thread from
the window to the bed so when wind blows,
my cold-pressed hands summon a prayer
from my core to complicate the darkness.




Abegail Morley’s debut, How to Pour Madness into a Teacup was shortlisted for the Forward Prize Best First Collection. Her fourth, The Skin Diary is published by Nine Arches, She blogs at The Poetry Shed.


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