Kitty Coles




What tool is best to slice the skull apart,
to split it neatly, cleanly as a melon,
and winkle out that small stone at the temple,
cuddled up like a frog in its deep-mud winter burrow,
growing fat as its skin sucks in the life of its host?

What will that stone look like, held aloft
to the light, the air drying the ooziness from it?
Like nothing much: it withers like a vampire
without its sustenance, exposed and bald,
and corrugates with age remarkably fast.

And neatly the scalp is sutured back together
and hair grows over the wound like a field of corn.
And in the warm grey fluid under the flesh
a similar stone is busy birthing itself
and soon will thrive and nestle like its forbear.




Kitty Coles’ poems have been widely published and have been nominated for the Forward Prize and Best of the Net. She was joint winner of the Indigo Dreams Pamphlet Prize 2016: her pamphlet Seal Wife was published in 2017.

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