at the burial, they discover
you sing ave verum
just as sweet as joy division,
voice wishing for resurrection
like a sudden apparition of birds,
like baby’s breath grown among the gravestones
strokes over the swell of your belly.
who sired the bastard babe to be?
they catcall in the streets,
but before all else the child is yours.
even god’s son raised him higher
better than he could have been before.
when they speak of broken things, they speak of
japanese pottery, grounded doves, hearts –
never the creak of a bedroom door,
bruises worn like pearls, everything you have
shoved in an overnight bag.
wicked woman, witch,
cursed, possessed, lain with the devil
temptation in a too-short skirt –
but what of wicked fathers? wicked husbands?
you were dark-eyed and drunken;
yelling your sins from the top of your lungs;
divorced and dancing
under god’s gaze. he might have played guitar
but you, bravest among them, banged the drum.
and now alone again in the gardens, always,
earthly delight, prayers for heaven,
paradise, first wild, now withered.
falling’s such a heady scent.
you light another cigarette;
shed eyeliner tears for happy endings,
and the girl worth saving.
he promised these things weren’t your fault
but it doesn’t feel like it.
he promised. he promised.
woman, why are you weeping?
who do you seek?
you kiss his cheeks, his temples,
press your face into his neck, run your fingers
through his hair, earth in every fold.
don’t be surprised,
it was you who taught me how to rise
from the pit they dug for me.
Amy Kinsman (they/them) is a genderfluid poet and playwright from Manchester. As well as being the founding editor of Riggwelter Press and associate editor of Three Drops From A Cauldron, they are also the host of the regular, Sheffield open mic Gorilla Poetry. Their debut pamphlet & was joint-winner of the Indigo Dreams Pamphlet Prize 2017.