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Issue Two

Flora Carr


Before We Roast the Chicken


Not flesh, but a

Pale plastic mass

Lying stiff in our fridge.

The surface puckered

Little corroded indents

Like my own chicken mark-

Chickenpox mark

Below my right temple.


A white doll

When we take you out

The upturned crease

Where your neck was

Smiles up at me.

Arms and legs

Firm and fat and full

Rotate at the socket.

Small details.


I love to rub the butter in

Along the spine-

Feel it

The thin virgin bone

Below membrane skin.

The butter lends a colour


The fluffy down of the chick

My spinster chicken never saw

But was

Before she was dipped in wax.



Nothing Alike


I’m fooling myself

In thinking that you and I

Look nothing alike.

We could be

Carved from one bone

Same teeth

Same smile

Same long low back-


Of course, yours carries you

With a grace

Mine does not lend.

Then my legs-

The added height

Father’s own gave

To your bones

My bones

Means I am left to trip behind

Like a child.


I have your father’s eyes

And skin,

The shaded darkness

Of a half-known past.

Your eyes are the blue

Stolen from babies

From me

A colour you kept

And guarded


You knew one day you’d need it.




A Fringe for my Sister


A fringe for my sister,

Whose face, a long oval

‘O’, would benefit from an

Added line.


A fringe to fall into hazel eyes-

A rare inheritance

I didn’t acquire.


An extra inch-and-a-half

Of dark hair the color of

Ground coffee and felled trees,

Of home and hearth.


In Cornwall, we would paint our lips

With salt

And chase the surf

And dance its beat

And cup the sun in our palms

Not for safe-keeping-

Because we could.


Still, her hair was left

Sliced in a neat square

Skimming ski-slope nose


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