commuting with angela
last night i walked her dog boots scuffing concrete solitude
glistening in puddles pissing on laingholm poles
she is scared of slugs those grey spotted tongues
inching under porchlight
towards her door invasion moving morning perspiration
hold her thigh —not hard or that’s charlie’s horse
i’m driving but slips hand into yours
circle your pulse to the backstreet boys
frida on her back staring mirror ceilings strokes
skinny west auckland signs
it is what it is
she says, slugs pop like blisters rat lungworm burst forth confetti larvae
and we cannot survive it
This poem was the 2019 winner of Best Poem in the Given Words National Poetry Day Competition. All the entries had to contain the words: solitude, pulse, moving, circles and self-acceptance.
“the poem that stood out for us is commuting with angela, which hooked us emotionally us with its visual presentation echoing the creatures, ‘those grey spotted tongues’, that frame the narrative, along with the multiple details and references that add a sense of place and time, and link the personal and the universal”
The poem has also been translated into Spanish for Palabras Prestadas.
Republished by Lily on 04 May 2020.