‘Testimony’ by Fiona Larkin


after Alberto Giacometti

stark figurine
you are here to unpick
with your needle-bright point
our distinguishing features

the whorl of a curl
the curve of a lip
mother or teacher or classmate
flatten to form
bare outline

as collars wear thin
as beads fall unstrung
flesh drops away

the wolf called attrition called hatred called hunger
consumes to the bone

a stipple of clay
is all that is left
a thumbprint
in flesh

a hand at an angle
opens as X-ray

gestures attention

still upright
bears witness

Fiona Larkin’s debut pamphlet, A Dovetail of Breath, was published in 2020 by Rack Press. Her poem ‘Rope of Sand’ was highly commended in the Forward Prizes 2019, and she manages innovative poetry events with Corrupted Poetry. Twitter @fionalarkin