Charlotte Gann's 'Girl in the Hall'

Girl in the Hall

Let’s call her Hetty,  
this girl who isn’t me,

this thin white one,
this bare-knuckled beauty

who lives in the wallpaper,
thin as wallpaper,

this bruise-eyed darling,
this one I’m half in love with,

Who lives in the wall,
tap-tapping her urgent warnings,

the ones I adhere to
in this narrow dark corridor,

where she’s stock still,
stuck still,

open mouthed,
shrunk into the skirting board,

fingering a crack,
this white-thighed girl,

darting now,
a shadow

naked down the hall,
searching for a shower –

his thin line of sweat,
early evening stubble –

when she shouldn’t
even be here.

* Charlotte Gann's The Long Woman was published recently by Pighog Press.  She's had work in The Rialto, The North and Magma, among others.

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