Art: Three Women
The traffic stopping
showing a clear way to the wall
was surely an auspicious omen, the day I realised
you could buy lengths of grass
When I strode with mine along the main street,
my hair in a ponytail, everyone thought
it was a yoga mat. I spread it over the gruesome
pavement and instead of the thumping of traffic
watched flowers close up for the night:
a carpet of eyes.
I plugged it in
to the electricity. I’d hoped
for snow to fall on the grass in the winter.
Instead it is a hunched body,
in my dusty city.
Just one more thing, she said:
you can’t touch your country’s currency any more.
and I’ll change it for you.
She was almost happy as she led me down bean paths.
The pods smelt like the dunes of tiny shells
dripping with stone beards
that I woke up in with a headache
after signing her contract.
A luminous bug
fell down my top and I shook it
trying not to crush the warm body.
The coins she handed me were some of them
covered in a shiny dust, don’t think
about that, she said, you are past
being hurt by that now.
No money for a ticket to the stone circle
Over two hills, security guards come
running, chins tucked
into their lapels.
I get one leg over the fence
and all the trees come out in blossom.
With my second leg
through, everyone has one decision
they made in their lives reversed.
into the middle of the circle, four hands
drag me back to the motorway.
Pushing back into my house
the next afternoon,
just as I expected, a brown haired woman
is standing with one nail poised
against the minute hand of the china clock,
the dull shine of peach ribbons
from her previous birthday
catching around her heels.
His chairs are rusted satellites, he plays us
scratches on a metal gramophone. His fender
is the side of a ship that carried lemons –
the sea was yellow for a whole night
and they had knocked against him
as he dragged bodies to the shore.
I pocket a magnet from a drawer
full of them, covered
in staples like ants on a dropped
apple. It calls out to earrings untangled from the hair of city
visitors and to slipped dogcollars as I walk
through the washed yellow stubble,
the dandelion seconds.
Each month the magnet drags me
back for a quarter of an hour, somersaulting
when I reach his house.
Each time, I walk in on him
shredding stacks of letters,
determined not to let them threaten him
Laura Seymour’s poems have been in various journals, including Iota, Magma, Ambit and Envoi. She wrote her PhD on Shakespeare and teaches English. With her friend Kirsten Tambling, she edited an anthology of art and writing about mermaids, Lines Underwater.