Katrina Naomi



Two Aprons


after Arshile Gorky


I have my limitations, I can only paint.

Each silver tube has its own sound,

its own idea of life and how it might be lived.


Here’s the yellow of Nan’s Portuguese pinny,

I heard its cockcrow from the drawer –

and me, not even of the generation that wears aprons,


though I’m wearing one now, its white cottons

unravelling like the lines of this painting.


I release the bird from the stuffy drawer,

its wattle and plumage crushed,

yet the colours still sing to the morning.


While I search for clues to Nan’s journeys,

her many tongues jumble in my apron’s pockets,

and this cockerel will star on the canvas.



Katrina Naomi is completing a PhD in creative writing at Goldsmiths with a focus on violence in poetry. Her work has appeared in The TLS, Poetry Review and The Spectator. She lives in south London and is originally from Margate. www.katrinanaomi.co.uk


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