‘Assembling’ by Abegail Morley

Assembling

She borrows her pelt from the cat, lies back,
wallows in its stunted silken threads, the weave

of its stitching, how fur overlaps, silver hair on hair,
hind legs soft, subtle as saplings. She takes her eyes

from the ancients ‒ black rocks, thick set, as if put in place
by a salt gale. She fumbles for lips, hits on a breadth

of red horizon brimming from the window ‒
sculpts her nose from ice found in shattered pools,

melts, shapes like soft wet cloth or tacky clay.
She makes herself every day from lost particles, snippets

of sentences, things hidden from view. One day
she’ll show him all this, undress, exhibit herself

unaware he’s waited for years. Absent words jabber
from the ache of silence, burrow in his foolish head.

Sometimes late at night he’ll hear her after rain,
her raw voice will hang in the air for hours.
 
 
 
  
Abegail Morley’s fourth collection, The Skin Diary is published by Nine Arches Press (2016). Her debut, How to Pour Madness into a Teacup was shortlisted for the Forward Prize Best First Collection. ‘Assembling’ is taken from In The Curator’s Hands – a pamphlet forthcoming from Indigo Dreams Publishing.

‘Her story’ by Abegail Morley

 
Her story

I.

Inside where the darkness stops,
her bones are soft, pliable, her head

half her weight. She curls in the curve
of the crescent moon. Week 28,

she feels pain. Inhales, exhales;
downy hair covers her skin, like his.

Waters break.

II.

Her room’s changed shape, dimension.
No longer measured crown to rump,

she stretches her length, cranks up
Amy Winehouse, reads To the lighthouse

in her bed at night. She meets pain.
Inhales, exhales; dyes her hair, like his.

Opens The Waves.

III.

Outside the morning blisters. I feel
her shift. Away. Resist.

She submerges, airless. Week 936,
head full of dreams half her weight

she buckles under, greets pain.
Inhales, exhales. Her hair skims

the water’s skin.
 
(Commended in The Frogmore Poetry Prize 2012)
 

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How to Pour Madness into a Teacup (Cinnamon Press) was shortlisted for The Forward Prize Best First Collection. Pindrop Press published Snow Child in 2011.