BX which is H: persecution|by century


by Laura Elliot

It is surprising as itself, the scars on your arms
and how I noticed them only for the first time lately;
they are bright and incoherent as dinner plates at a wedding
with pictures of ducks on the rim.

(I tried it once but could not break the skin.)
And because I came straight to you from the palace library
I am still thinking how can I define this without using
the words of the title
, and that it is never just as simple
as 96.1 Lacerations, you have to follow the steps from

1121 Wounds and injuries. Accidents.
__23 Homicide
Cf. HV6499-6535, Crimes against the person

in such a particular pre-determined way
and remember all the links – I was never very good
at remembering these things
unless it was put in a list, for example

Signs of predestination
5091     Mysticism
Special, A-Z
Eg. .C7 Contemplation
.E3 Ecstasy
.R4 Revelation and prophecies
.S7 Stigmatization

and I suppose the scars on your arm are a list
or a sort of ladder I’m trying to climb, and it’s funny how
they really brought out the cables of the bridge that night,
which maybe ought to begin with


and should be located specifically
as in London or at least Great Britain so that we place it
you know you have to try and be methodical
with these things, until you eventually touch on

Grafting of tissue.
121            Skin.
Cf. RD 520, Surgery
123            Bone
Cf. RD 684, Surgery.
124            Nerve
Cf. RD 595, Surgery

and finally

Surgery by region, system, or organ.
520            Skin and subcutaneous tissue.

which is maybe too little or maybe
just enough to go on – otherwise
you could include the whole world in a line
and never reach the bone.

About the Author:

Laura Elliot is a British poet. Her work has been featured in a number of journals and anthologies, most recently including Dear World and Everyone In It: New Poetry in the UK published by Bloodaxe. She is the co-editor of Lighthouse.