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Lily Holloway

moirai

 

i) clotho

 

pulled out of thumb endless i am

knuckleward and they call me a wheel

i am they call me a wheel you pull

across cheekbones to feel         what        type          of             plait

i am          spinning tightness tightness and they drag me

dough between spread fingers i feel them call me a wheel

see the pith of the orange stretching between i’m

gelatine melting into strings i want to be ripped apart

sleekness beneath my belly                they call me a wheel thinning

 

they call me a wheel                           churning tarmac rolling mossy

earthquakes slips and landslides

 

they call me a bobbin they call me spin cycle

 

they call me a wheel                           spinning in the parlour

tooth

pick

floss

bleeding

i

am

drawing

blood

from

stone

i

am

that

suck

of

the

needle

pulled

nurseward

buticannotandwillnoticannot and will not be umbilical cord i cannot and will not bediscordant i am a single note calling i ama single note icy they call me a wheel but i must thread the needle and they call me a wheel but they call me pan dora and they call me a wheel with f ingernails on fire and they call me their origin a nd they call me their wheel and they call me predestine d and they loveme for winning and they love me for winning but they call me aw heel crushing fingers of children they call me a wheel

 

ii) lachesis

 

sat in front of fire       only weaving              only weaving             

i am a narrator    not listened at the door not

basement knitting i am           and        i             am

motherlines but mother’s locked in the

 

about my day              they call me a tapestry taught down

dry                   they call me a tapestry but they have not asked me

  

behind curtains and the moths have been       sucking              me

 

weaving snakes between columns                   they call me a tapestry

 

dripping silkiness on the welcome mat             they call me a tapestry

 

they call me a tapestry                        they call me a tapestry torn

 

they call me a tapestry                        hanging in the hallway

friend

ship

bracelet

yarn

sewing

baskets

of

meat

fat

tectonic

etchings

i

stretch

and

bind

your

hands

behind

i

can’t

help

but

tea

cosy

and              im              bindingandbindingandbindingandbinding             and                    my knucklesarebleedingandbleedingandbleeding and im seepingseepingandseeping into the history cracks when men see me they imagine me weaving our bodies when men see me they imagine me doing their laundry when men see me they call me a tapestry when men see me they imagine mypelvislooming when men see me they call me a tapestry when men see me they see me knittingthem backtogether and they call me a nightgown and they call me a tapestry and they call me a tapestry and they call me a tapestry and they call me fresh carpet and they see me inside them and they call me a tapestry and they call us inseparable and they tie me around their pinkies but i have learnt how to unpick my mother taught me to unpick but i have learnt how to defrost and i have learnt fingerknitting and they are watching my needles they are watching my needles but they call me their saviour and they call me a tapestry but i’m

leaving

 

iii) atropos

 

above              the                    fire

all the trinkets are stuffed i am a sword on the wall

seas let’s drown in depths we have not                       seen

                       and                  they call me a sword jumping

 

fly in windless nights leaf

ing hands        so         loose              they                 rip and rib

 

on the roof i say they call me a sword stretch

out       pull       me      out vibrating i want    out so get me out i’m pounding

 

pavement rhythms into skulls            they call me a sword get          me

 

they call me a sword               they call me a sword pounding

 

they call me a sword               sheathed in gut lining

above    the                    fire

swerve

in

front

of

your

sweet

neck

can’t

help

but

cut

in

where

your

seams

meet

snip

those

thick

staples

and

let

drip

down

the

night’s

dark

oil

getitoutofmyheadicannotthinkorsleepforbeingwrangledandicannotbehereicannotbehere but i am and ic annot leave for this is whereihave ended up eveerynight for weeks and theycallme a sword but i forget and i cannotrememberhow to grasptheh andle and i’m there in the pocket of night unable to unzip th ebeanbag from around my face and it’s suffocating stars and polystyrene beads and they call me a sword but when i look in the mirror all i see is sheet metal and they call me a sword but they’ve never felt my ribs squeaking and they call me a sword but they are not bread makers and they call me a sword but take up two seats on the bus they call me a sword but don’t know emery they call me a sword but they call me a sword


-
This poem was originally published in The Three Lamps.


Republished by Lily on 02 May 2020.