Black Bananas

You showed me letters
heaving their forms across paper.
I showed you how my breasts looked in the bath.

I imagined your arteries were
scar-tissue hard and numbed
and we ate mini-eggs out of a cavity in your chest
and watched film where a man wore an octopus for a face.

You were embedded in me from day one
like the glass crouched in my sole.
I met you in a garden,
a woollen hat and the taste of premier estates wine.
You smothered me with the smell of bonfire
and traced my vulnerability with your tongue.

You were Carlsberg and Chinese teapots filled with coppers.
You were the shining polyester of a Liverpool shirt and a Belfast drawl and
the smell of Amber Leaf roll-ups and old clothes.
I thought I could taste bi-polar in your mouth.
You were Maryland Cookies and Pulp Fiction and Jim Bean.
A bent-backed bush-baby with shrimp-round brown eyes.
I rent the hole in your chest
and you looked me up in the DSM-IV and made spiders in my bath
strung out like an IV.
I wore your disease like perfume, little Freud.

Eleanor Beeby


To follow you to your various events variably,
to accept what you slip me into,
to never take myself off the threshold,
to propose you take me instead,
to pick flecks of beginning off each morning,
to read between the lines,
to interchange, between city and country,
to wish with my eyes closed,
to silence you a circumstanced number of times,
to keep the count to myself,
to use you, to fill my empty hands,
to lie awake, thinking of this:
a voice, calling my name, then yours,
then the last word worth saying out loud.

Charlotte Rowland

Wrapped Up

Your grey coat,

A gift from yesteryear

Is now threadbare.

It billows open in the harsh Scottish winds,

All too exposing on your narrow frame,

A button is missing on the shoulder

Loose thread seems so upsetting...

How a once smart object

Now seems shabby,

Subtle changes in the familiar...

Though it looks worse for wear

We both know it's for the better.

What fills the pockets now I wonder?

How does it hang in new surroundings?

My throat tightens in remiss reminisce

Bound in the soft tartan you gave me

Still worn, still much loved.

On a cold Glasgow evening

We stand in each other's clothes

Stuck in memories of old.

Elspeth Vischer