I would not believe
the boneless hole
in the back garden, even
when the dog disappeared
overnight. I was as faithless
as the electrifying stult
of summer, when mating
flashes of mosquitos swarm
the prophet, itching
in his pinstripe suit.
I could not see you
so I cried all month on trains,
hoping you would appear
at the ticket desk. Humility
and patience! Too late —
I tried to touch your side,
and then descended
into the tomb, face-first.
first months of no contact
Isaac, binding hind legs up a hill,
cracks a riddle about what really takes guts —
so we laugh and agree never to have children.
But as I pull the ram out of the thicket,
lost and fatherless, I am wondering
whether you’re still wearing t shirts at night
or eating pasta with a spoon. When I saw
a dog bind its son to a covenant
of sniffing and sleeping curled up
by the hearth, I knew I never wanted
to sacrifice anything I wanted again
Natalie Perman is a writer and editor based in London. A past Foyle Young Poet of the Year, she has won the Forward Student Critics’ Award 2017 as well as the Martin Starkie Prize 2021, judged by Alice Oswald. Her poems appear in The White Review and bath magg, among others. An alumna of Genesis Jewish Book Week’s Emerging Writers’ Programme, she is currently working on her debut collection while studying for a MSt in Modern Languages. You can find her at @kafkaeatsbabka on X.
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