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Will Eaves: a poem

Photograph by John Cairns

Perfectly Good Legs

for Kristin Headlam

God didn't like his skinny legs

and made better ones for mankind from

red meat, collagen and calcium.

Just like that. Shorts followed.

Later, noticing

the way his creatures idolised

a certain thickness of thigh,

he tried to say – no,

no: that wasn't what I meant.

Love the sturdy. Do, please. Be

my guest: all I wanted was a chance

to stand on feet at a normal distance

from my hips, and walk

towards the unexplained cow

on a beach looking at her shadow.

Sometimes I think these things

up and then I'm stuck with them.

But he couldn't speak. It felt wrong.

He withdrew into the singing cloud

and measured his desolations.

Will Eaves is a novelist and poet. He is the author of eight books. Broken Consort: Essays, Reviews, and Other Writings (CB Editions) was published last year. He won the Wellcome Book Prize for Murmur in 2019. He is currently writing about music and distraction. This poem first appeared in the New Statesman.

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