Therese Lloyd

The Nail

Where I am—generic architecture
like a barn or a bach but
neither of those things
Feral fennel clots the air with ammonia
and the usual marks are everywhere—
burnt stumps and discarded branches
their currency clattering at the night-window

I’ve made a list of the things I will steal:
a Crown Lynn cup and saucer
an ashtray printed with Foxton: the Foxy Town
and a remote control like the one I lost—
but I won’t, I will leave this place
cleaner than when I arrived

If I could get things right on a small scale
if I could lay the right things
at the feet of the wooden women
who circle the ladder to heaven
Or reign Foveaux’s rusty breath
to skirt these hingeless doors
But my vision is split like a horse’s
and my pockets hurt from the fists
I’ve shoved in them

Round back the muttonbirders are dumping buckets
of bodies in the kitchen sink
the ovens and deep fryers gearing up a notch
We prepare ourselves by mumbling a song
taught to us this morning
half naïve native, half colonial huckster
sung to a Beatles tune
Standing on the grass, I let a nail
pushed from rusted metal
pierce the sole of my shoe

Author’s Note


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