The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Literature from Mexico City

Angela Readman: 2 Poems Published

Poems by Angela Readman (UK)

Published in The Ofi Press issue 50

 

 

 

Once I Lost the Wings

 

Once I lost the wings, I started to listen

to the slightest sound my body made,

 

piece together my own dawn chorus

from the crack of my knees, the dropped stone

 

of a sigh. I stared at the knife on the rock

and listened to air steel into the slits in my shoulders,

 

like arched hands clutching a blade of grass.

I pictured a violinist losing his fingers, my bones

 

no mere a harp by a window, casually picked

by a breeze. Those wings were so strong

 

I could barely walk some days without being pulled

out of my footprints to look down at the land,

 

a dirty boot I couldn’t make fit. In their absence,

I heard my own cries fly, fold into the spaces left

 

by blackbirds and crows. The sky climbed on my back,

I carried it wherever I went with my stick. I felt

 

feather’s in cold shifts, the cloak of my wings

around a man’s shoulder’s somewhere. Closing

 

my eyes, I saw them pinned in a closet, still beating,

soft as eyelashes on a neck, moths conducting hurricanes.

Lady with a Goose on her Head

Lady with a Goose on her Head

 

No one carries a still wing a well as the lady

with a goose on her head. In the market, ducks

 

dangle by the crop, she walks on, her posture

is a girl balancing books. I heard woman and bird

 

became friends after it quit laying eggs, waddled

up to her door, a pick of crumbs on the mat. I hear

 

she's a widow, and I hear she never married. Love

was a kamikaze at war. I can't ask. She has ears 

 

only for the common grey goose, gabbling its view 

of stone clouds and hail. Each morning she passes

 

in a red coat, buys a quince and strolls on, a smile 

she won't give just anyone folded into feet vividly

 

paddling nowhere, infinite stories webbed to her lips. 

It's possible she's poor, or invented the biro i use. 

 

Only one thing is clear: she has a goose that won’t leave.

 

It flies so completely in the air she wraps around herself.

About the Poet

Angela Readman's poems have won the Mslexia Poetry Competition, The essex Poetry Prize, and The Charles Causey. They have been published in various journals  and anthologies in recent years. In 2015, her debut short story collection, Don't Try This at Home, won The Rubery Book Award and was shortlisted for the Edgehill Prize.  Nine Arches are publishing her poetry collection The Book of Tides in November 2016.

Image: "23-920" by Oregon State University.