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Ode to Dancing in the Kitchen

A Poem by Finlay MacDonald

Two magpies perch on the washing line, 

suspended on their spot in empty space. 


These days you live within me 

trace my shadow, shadow my solitude. 

Memories flood through a vacant mind 

like letters posted to an empty house: 


Close your eyes, 

take my hand. 


Moonlight pinned to the wall 

haunts our hollow bones 

strokes your untouched skin - petals 

pale as the page before the poem. 


One, two.  

One, two. 


Now we sway beneath a sunrise 

which shuffles through a gap in the blinds 

and lingers around your thighs 

which are not here. 


And I want you  

to stand with me. 


To stand at the end of these verses. 

To feel the sounds 

of these end-stopped lines. 

Like the drumming 


One, two.  


of water in the basin 

or the slap of bare feet 

against kitchen tiles. 

Fingers entwine with hair 


and can you still hear me? 


which hangs like honey from a spoon 

as skin shifts like wings inscribed with scars 

dancing in the refrigerator’s glow: 

bathed in some cold and messianic light. 


One, two.  


Our silhouette, this swift 

stroke on kitchen cupboard canvas 

pools beneath the windowsill. 

Rots, like raw chicken on the counter.  


and are you even listening? 


But for a moment we exist 

outside this room, nestled  

like birds beyond the bookends 

of rusting autumn nights. 


Ice crackles in your wine glass, 

and when I open my eyes  

the magpies have flown, 

and the day hums on. 

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