At your revelation
My body hollows
Dispensing with its contents
In unplanned obsolescence

Lips recede over crumbling gums
Unhinged jaw surrenders teeth
Scattered runes divine only a moment
Fallen tongue licks day-old dust and fresh blood

Stitched abdomen seam unravels
Delivering redundant womb
Swamped by the afterbirth of a million surplus cells
Seeping into worn carpet

Spine, unzipped to the tail
Disgorges organs among lumped tissue
Beetroot-streaked thighs stand over numb toes
Submerged in warm puddles

Lulled diaphragm persuades a sigh
From slow-deflating lungs
Arrhythmic heart clings to a remaining vein
Un-feathered bird flutters in its bone cage

Desiccated skin disintegrates
Sinew crawls round ankle bones
Draft finds passage through willow-weaved woman
Stalled on the bottom step plinth.

Elisabeth Alain


Elisabeth Alain lives in Worcestershire, raising two daughters and writing short stories and poetry. Her work has appeared in poetry anthology Please Hear What I’m Not Saying, and online in The Cabinet of Heed, Paragraph Planet, The Drabble and Dear Damsels.



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