At Liberty

When the world’s not watching I eat barbecue chicken without cutlery,
let sauce spread across my cheeks and lick my fingers. I lift my skirt
to hitch up my tights with a wiggle, believe this time they won’t slide.
I ask out Simon Carr when really I just want to kiss him on the lips.

When the world is in a meeting I go to the park, climb up the slide
and down the steps. I drive a lorry under a low bridge to get it stuck
and let down the tyres to test a theory. When the world goes on holiday
I drive to the city centre, ignore red lights and park where I like.

I sing when the world’s not listening, try out harmonies. I finish
the whisky after the world goes home, leave the clearing up
and go to bed. When the world gives up I offer one more clue
then reveal the answer. When it asks Why me? I tell it to stop

feeling sorry for itself. When there’s no way the world will know
it’s me, I pull the cord, paint on walls, rob a bank. When the world
falls asleep, I wolf whistle the moon, flash the astronauts,
corral the stars to string into a diamond skipping rope, play.





Jill Abram is Director of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen, a collective encouraging craft, community and development. She grew up in Manchester, travelled the world and now lives in London. Jill created and curates the Stablemates reading series. @MalikasKitchen