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Alan Humm: a poem


Do not think that I am ignorant of the body

nor that these walls

are an analogy.

They do not represent God's love,

nor are they chastity.

They are as obdurate as every body is,

tricking the flame

into a dance that wavers there

for its own pleasure; not for mine.

All that I want is light.

I am light,

pure and unobstructed,

until, once again,

I see the wall; its skin.

I realise, once again,

how thick it is,

how slick and how curvaceous,

and I feel its insolence.

Bold and corrupt the way

it beckons the candle's tongue.

But I am not a candle.

I am a wall.

I am extravagantly pure

until the birds begin to tell the time.

Remember? Blossom; light

like a cupped hand; birds

flung like paper at the wind.

I was bricked in

before I was bricked in.

Alan Humm is the editor of One Hand Clapping. His first novel, The Sparkler, will be published by Vine Leaves Press in 2024 and his first collection of poetry, A Brief and Biased History of Love, will be published soon.

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