Poem in which the girls arrive

No other Sunday for the girls except –

they are cankerous, they smell of stale rice, their cardigans are buttoned wrong, they hesitate to enter the room but look, the eyes that meet their eyes are sugar-water. The girls have hearts as round and flat as plates, they want something to cherish – only came to see, to check – would not normally no they would never never if it weren’t for this hunger, their mealy juddering bodies unable to stand it, the girls stumble in so certain that music is harmless and they are not stupid girls In the dark In the dark they can stop anytime, only squares of tissue paper, only tissue women on spilt cherry juice.

The girls listen, exhausted – The girls are welcomed HOME – The girls will prosper – The girls are such fruit – The girls have their true names squeaked in felt tip – The girls will stand under the shower later with kingdom kingdom kingdom gushing from the tub, flooding the floor, billowing up in devoted clouds but for now here they are the loved forgiven chosen girls the girls the girls there are always more – girls who should begin to sing, who should ask sincerely and raise a hand if they feel, who sit at the end in tight circles of girls and bring their shaky eyelids down and the first prayer a tarantula scraggles out of my mouth.

Annie Katchinska

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