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.
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.