I was the fishes’ lungs, the earrings                                                                                            1

on your daughter and polyphonic
you were checking the time. – a hell
of a way to go, uprooting leg hair                                                                                                3

and the picnic plate tongued
by flies. When the news called me exceptional
they spoke into a microphone of me: the news anchor
comprehending for a moment with a toothbrush
that I am in hand before deciding better than to and polyphonic                                  5                                                                                                                                                                             °N

you were checking the time. It’s a kind
of treacle-wading fear: the canaries are in your kitchens,
perched on me. Curdled dairy trickles and feeds                                                             3

the great teal. Mummification is for only
the rotting and through the milk carton
is pulled the wholesale body and when bare on the table
quaking like a news anchor it is matted cellophane.
– I was the reel                                                                                                                            5                                                                                                                                                                            °W

when the film was playing that could splinter                                                                 1

a room. Upward six thousand foot
to an albatross noose and I’m a slowburn
on a rubbish heap and every dioxin that ever was.
The factory stacks they cough up ghosts
sleekly and meekly the whale swallowed                                                                           5

me. I was the bracket on the baleen.
In the veins swam would-be humans
sick on me. It is nineteen
twenty-four and I am –. I am beside
myself, with as many as there are to blame                                                                       5                                                                                                                                                                             °N

for me being the earrings on your daughter,
the frame to the mirror you goose-pluck
spinach from your cuspids in & cowardice.
It is now and I am old & far from home, apostate                                                           4


of the popular opinion and when the news called me great
they spoke into a microphone of me.                                                                                 2


Alison Graham is a Norwich-based writer; her debut pamphlet tin can white gown was published in July of this year by Pyramid Editions, and she can be found on Twitter at @alison_graham_.

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, prose, reviews, and interviews from marginalized creators.