Poetry by Rosie Gailor

Duct Tape


I built you out of screws and duct tape, 

tore skin from myself and covered your cogs 

to make you look human. I painted your eyes blue – 

nearly the exact shade as his, but I couldn’t 

find the right colour of the sea. I stitched clothing piece by piece 

from things I’d been unable to throw out, charred plaid, now-black 

blue jeans, a hoodie that had become a sweatshirt. I told you our story, 

our private jokes, how you like your tea in the morning, that 

you never drink it past four pm. I tried to show you how 

he made his scrambled eggs, but I never had the knack. (We don’t eat 

scrambled eggs anymore.) I told you how to hold me 

when we slept –

but your arm was too heavy, full of sand and

full of metal. Now you sleep on your back as

you power off, sometimes with my hand holding yours,

often not. I tried to teach you his laugh, one

of his many laughs, but you couldn’t even

get his chuckle right. I pressed you into his mould, 

tucking in bones and shoulders and re-sizing fingers,

pretending the mis-matched shapes were simply

the tears in my eyes.

Rosie Gailor is a writer and editor based in London. Her fiction has been featured in Anomaly Lit, Noble/Gas Qtrly and Unthology 9, and she has recently co-launched an online literary space, Milk + Beans. Her evenings are usually spent with Roald Dahl, Tennessee Williams, and a large pile of Jaffa Cakes. Her greatest claim to fame is that if you Google her, she’s the only Rosie Gailor to exist; she can be found tweeting at @Rosiebmg.
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