Two poems by Pippa Little

Self-Portrait as a Last Meal

Me in this found world.
Mother and father, horned, pronged,
point due north,

guards of white meat on a grey plate.
Lone glass, all mouth
is not my sister.

Here murderers wait to eat
the clot-dark looming thing
I am

with its one eye
that hides in plain sight,
stares back at itself.
 
 
Inventory of Things I Know Nothing About

One/the land mass of me, un-named, the map slant-lopped,
indecipherable due to sabotage and sea damage

Two/the smallest of worlds and so many: salt grains, a drop
of sperm, a bird’s heart, stone that slips between skin and shoe

Three/what might be inside, an unwrecked ship with spiny masts
or the conventional gift, red around red, retrieved from our father’s roof:

Four/the not inside, the sleek backs waiting in rows for slaughter,
striations observed on the moon, a bullet’s trajectory

Five/all least-observable existences (those walking towards Europa
who carry children; soldier-unravelled razor wire)

Six/what is it worth? Time; the labour of my maker; forces used to form
the earth and all that has been taken from it:

Seven/how distance makes everything immense, even this tiny grey-blue speck,
broken, inconsolable, of us.
 
 
 
Pippa Little’s latest publication is Our Lady of Iguanas from Black Light Engine Room Press. A full collection, Twist, is forthcoming from Arc. She is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Newcastle University. Twitter @pippalittle1