Suppose I long


by Ali Graham

I put a worn-out battery
out of my vibrator
into the in-store recycling bin.

I was inconsolable beneath the cold birthday sun.

When it was after closing and amongst the new builds
outdoors and frigid I remembered
the four-toothed dinosaur
of the boy at the teaching job interview.

Lack of parenthood rocking in me like ornamental grass
maybe pampas, definitely many-filamented and
in a National Trust garden in spring –
someone upends their drink – bare arms as
tough blossom

against nineteenth century brick – heat
of the bricks’ making into a cool breath.

I am talking about children
and small animals to prove something.

I took crudely one of these cool breaths
into a sandwich bag – it was not brand name or new –
its sealing strip took more than one touch to
close – it rustled a hello to my life
I did not hear, was unsure what

I had made a puppy and road tar
fell out of me, the puppy
was road tar, the road tar was not living,
the clean was hope, if I say hope again
it will be certain – if I say it again while
in a position of flying, it will be true

if I say if for the first and only time
in the support group where the people
who deserve none of the good or bad things
that have happened go. Strung across
me are beads of water or resembling
smaller bodies, all different and better
versions, their tongues very green with light.

I put my difficult hand on the wall which is differently
difficult – wrong century –
cold fish –
the clean was the itemisation
of pieces of my body I would jump at half the chance
to vanish – the clean was not the floor where I
was uncertain of my life – difficult was
compacting so raw
a brazen nothing
into coffee granules and I did not do it – the wind
distracted, I avoided all overhead space,
bit the crusts off, spat, I have mislead you, you know
my body, it is no big deal or all of me subtracted off
so much turning


About the Author:

Ali Graham is a writer based in Norwich. Her poetry has featured in The Tangerine, Datableed, and 3:AM Magazine and her essays have been published by Seam Editions and the Glasgow Review of Books. She likes the colour grey, hybrid things, and the films of Maya Deren, and can be found on Twitter as @A__Graham and at

Cover image by Duchess Flux via Flickr (cc).