Tuesday poem: Body by Ingrid Horrocks


You risk going to the bathroom naked
at the darkest time of night.
As you emerge into the lit hallway
your flatmate opens his door – your
body is suddenly all unfamiliar
shapes, a Modigliani without grace.


You are stung on the nose by a wasp.
That night, you drink a bottle of Smoking Loon
and for reasons cry before you sleep.
By morning the poison as spread – in the
mirror you encounter a smudged version
of the Elephant Man. He stays with you for days.


You ask a woman who has become your
more-than-occasional lover if she’d like
to stay. Your legs are already stretched
cat-like across her thighs. She replies
– Think I’ll give it a miss this time.
You try to remake your body as your own.

By Ingrid Horrocks from Mapping the Distance (pages 44)
Published by Victoria University Press
Used with the permission of Victoria University Press
This poem is part of the Tuesday Poem Scheme.


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