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Utterance - Samantha Bews

Heading 6

This House, My Body


long legs, long arms, all jangles, wisps and elongated arches, which in a long line of instances 

become a grove of trees that we drive through on our way to a country picnic


my fingers, loose laces that twine with hair and lashes and coy looks that reveal  lipsticked lips
and words that pop like blown bubbles floating in mid-air


my belly protruding like a fat baby’s lip

coaxing slippery fingers to the pinch


my hips, my fanny, my crutch, the thick mess of curly black fronds 

opening like the palm of my hand from which to drink

this succulent tunnel that would slurp the sea like an inward tide then pour out 

in a rush of revelation all manner of creatures, each one newly named


my short shod feet, clumps of clay that hit the dusty road

making particle puffs that long to be seen – 

flitting starlets through shafts of light 


my toes wriggling like pigs to market


my heart, light source, dark source, singing songs of sirens and drunken sailors

hoisting sails with thick rope, twisted hemp

like the long plaits of the girl I once was

my heart waving, my heart like a gull, my heart a distant cousin – 

bluebeard’s wife drawn to the one forbidden room at the far end of the castle


have you walked in the open field?

did you lay down in the grass?

does the wagon stand, still?

did you hang by the neck?


my eyes, short-sighted, veiled, dim, crusted over, poked out

ancient hag holding what would light the way in my stubborn clenched fist 


my brow, furrowed like an overworked field, seed plucked and ground by wayward cockies


my chest is a battle field, slashed by steel blades and pummelled by rearing horses 

whose eyes roll white, lit by the crack of Ares’ whip, lightning reversed as terror 


knees knocking, giving way


tongue tight, taunt, spitting like a cut snake


bowels heaped upon heaps of rancid shit

manure of failure, stored up, clumsy bog

roots of a strangled pot

silt of lies, entrails of betrayal

dank store of the lost


the story in my vertebrae is my mother’s loss

in my blood the Jews are singing


did you kneel amongst the reeds?

did the sky run down your back?

did the water run over your face?

did you draw breath?


a baby was born in my finger tips


my body, my house.



Samantha Bews June 2018

Atsuko Tanaka - artist
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