For the victims of the Magdalene Laundries   There will be no sainthood for you here. No hands wrung in grief; no human heart offering.   If angels must, let them sing in minor of mothers who crown their sons and punish their daughters   our lost daughters   and the sun that shines through […]


Womb wrapped/skin silk Pulse pure/warm milk Hours soft/heart drum Rose mouth/clasped thumb   Loose tooth/gummy gap pillow treasure/starmapped Skinned knee/knuckle pop Tongue catching/rain drop   Other body/lips lost Limbs enfold/criss crossed Foster flesh/breath songs Here going/going gone   White shock/slow rest Hands locked/full blessed Last psalm/cold coil Into fire/into soil

For Anne

The longest night lives inside her blessed clasp, and echoes of beyond a thousand dawns still spark beneath her eyelashes; the embers of every livid fire etched between words, stitched into the binding of her heart’s bible. Death gives such beauty to pain, and she knew it as she slipped into her mother’s fur coat […]


Daughter, please         hold my hand. There is rain       coming; look — a congregation of heavy promise waits above our heads to bathe us.        It gives God to our ordinary air. Aren’t you beautiful? I have a gift for you.  Please, hold my hand; k ep me in your tender palm. Parts of me are fading […]

Going Dutch

I cut my teeth on you; let enamel tear through the warm pink tissue of adolescence. I bared my legs, but bent them inward, dressed them in angles in case you found them too soft too fleshy. You didn’t (they weren’t). I kept my hair down so subtle shadows fell where cheekbones might be, stolen […]


I’m strutting stratospheric, embellished and splendid in my NHS wedding dress. My mother was here before me, her father before her, his uncle before that — lucky, lucky me — our platinum gilted heirloom hops generations and genders, our gene pool a puddle of madness thickened with blood and tear-streaked shrieking saliva. I’m in my […]