‘Ode to a Flat Earth’ by NJ Hynes


I’m bored by infinity. I want to sail a long time,
paint my gums with lemon, sharpen my teeth on hard tack,

slip over salted sheets of water, slide across mats of emerald algae,
reach the edge of the earth’s table top and stop  –  to admire

the thousand pounding waterfalls and the mouldy line of dragons
employed as bouncers on the world’s rim, their steaming breath

pushing day-trippers and pilgrims away from the glistening edge,
its long black drop hidden until the moment when, chasing a child

or a photograph, someone slides past the security rail of scales
and slips off –  then, as clouds scatter and dragons twitch  

their heavy tails, I might see the finite edge of things,
a life held to a world that refuses to curve.
(previously published in The Department of Emotional Projections, 2014)

NJ Hynes is poet in residence at Greenwich Rail Station. She finished an MA in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths with distinction in 2010, and her first collection, The Department of Emotional Projections, was published by Live Canon in 2014, having won their inaugural first collection prize.  Her poems have appeared in Mslexia, Magma, Popshot and Brittle Star and are featured in a video by Southeastern