Issue #11


I came to you blossom-born;
you plucked me careless from the earth
as I slept, lulled by the
that is too soft for your rude ears.
I felt safe until you arrived.

You saw beauty in the broom and oak-flower,
meadowsweet small and innocent.
Sweet little flower-face,
mixed up in a great cook-pot

Human women surrounded you,
all sweating and dirt-rubbed,
smelling faintly of lamb fat and work.

My mud was only rubbed
from my flesh when I woke.

Your hunched parents declared
‘He is too perfect, my boy
for their calloused claws.
Their teeth are too crooked,
their skin too porous,
their bellies too round from roast meat,
and their thighs meet in the middle.
None of them shall have him.’

So they made me;
an artificial thing, newborn
and oh-so-perfect as you,
my Lleu.

I would bear only the scent of lilies,
turning the air funereal and death-heavy.
My belly would never swell,
subsisting on pure light and longing.

I am preserved, pressed
like lilacs,
with powders painted,
A fiction for you.

But one day I will leave you,
painful as the spear in your side.

Alex Marsh