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Annie Hayter is a Barbican Young Poet, and a London Writers' Awardee. She has performed
on Radio 3, at the Walthamstow Garden Party, the Barbican, and has appeared in TimeOut.
we were constant together
lay as we slept, clicking saints’ names in our ears.
watched her wash her hair. I need to, need it.
I need her. she told me they will put you in the ground,
throw soil over you. you should pretend to be dead
for god willed it so, to play honour to the higher form.
the hard black sun wrecked us all so gleefully,
we boiled our wedding dresses hand in hand,
then cropped our hair close as breath.
I love that of what I love
I could spit at all the men that stare at you.
pigs in broth. walking potato sacks.
without the discretion your grace demands.
collectors of the world – fleas and worms – fuck
their way to holy. how many hairs have I plucked
from your jacket? how many kisses on your dear feet?
I love all that you love, for you are love
when you bit me the first time I bit back,
and hard. learnt to forgive you.
slept in the positions you liked, to see
how you felt at rest. eyeless, we begin
our flight – shaven, bound, rising.
This poem was originally published in Magma 75: The Loss Issue, edited by Adam Lowe and Yvonne Reddick.
Photo by Andrew Medhat