In Zero Gravity
If ever you are sucked out into space
by an ill-judged partnership, a scheming
co-worker, the belligerent family member,
you’ll know what love spurned
feels like: your eyes bulge but cannot
shed tears, out beyond the troposphere.
The moisture on your tongue boils, blood
does not flow. You lose what’s down
or up, the cognisance of arms and legs,
vacuum-sealed in the cellophane of space.
Though quick to die, unlike your bête noire
you do not decompose but, mummified,
act your beautiful age, in perpetuity.
The Kidney Consultant’s Hairclip
Her hair secured by a brown clip,
not a strand left behind. I notice every
blemish of pink, each mole on her skin.
I depend on her choice of perfume,
her discreet jewellery. I examine her eyes
for signs: no problems at home
with partners. Her children, blameless,
will yet have a say in this, her grip, her weft.
Let her display a cruelty of resolve,
an insolence of skills, the odds-calling eye
of a croupier; grant her a surfeit of conviction.
She mouths my history to her clinical assistant,
tiny white down on her throat vibrating
as she discounts the conditions I don’t have:
lung, heart and liver functions. She knows
I’m eyeing her for a sign of omnipotence,
that I’ve found it below the left ear at the pulse
on her neck. Her lips serve notice we’re
serious: theatre. Long nights studying
to make this perfect.
Ken Evans’ work has been longlisted for the Poetry Society’s National Competition (2015) and was highly commended in the 2015 Bridport Prize. His debut collection was shortlisted in both the Bare Fiction First Collection Competition (Judge: Andrew McMillan) and in the Poetry School/Nine Arches ‘Primers’ selection. His debut pamphlet The Opposite of Defeat is forthcoming from Eyewear (Autumn 2016).