our granddad fought the Germans but I battled through lunches
my bloodline gathered in the kitchen uncles with 5 o’ clock
shadows mistake me for schoolgirls they lured with pocketmoney
& promises I pull myself together in their pipe smoke
arrange tins of beans in jaunty pyramids kick shins of cousins
beneath the table their tree bark cheeks ruddy passing the sauce
as past lives lurch across history’s headland victories chipper & hard-won
I want to start fires in the bathroom wear the alley like a cat in heat
upend the garbage take off my clothes swear like a trooper
slice my thumb with the carving knife mop the blood with my bread
but I please&thankyou my way through dessert
impossible the things we don’t say to one another
stewing like spoilt fruit & cream
Rebecca Faulkner is a London-born poet and arts educator based in Brooklyn. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Solstice Magazine, Smoke Magazine, Wild Roof Journal, Pedestal Magazine, The Maine Review, SWWIM, CV2 Magazine, On the Seawall, Into the Void, and other journals. She has been anthologized in the Best New British and Irish Poets 2019-2021, was a finalist for the 2021 Foster Poetry Prize, and the Jack McCarthy Book Prize. Rebecca was a 2021 Poetry Fellow at the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts. She holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Leeds, and a Ph.D. from the University of London.
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