Bite Marks

I had that dream again, the one where we gnaw
holes into the skin of all the people we have to love.

And it got me thinking, what would happen
if we had to wear our feelings through our fingers,
and every last tip of them had to grow as a stapler.

It isn’t a stapler I mean though, it’s a hole punch.
But hole punch is such a heavy name for an object
designed specifically to fit the wing of a palm.

Your hand would fit mine if we ever decided
to make an aspirin of this distance that makes us ill.

But I’m sure my skin would become glue
if you ever grew daft enough to try to stick too near.

And what if you really are just a person-sized piece
of paper I am bonkers about smearing myself all over.

Could I talk to the bread maker at the market
and avoid having you drawn on by a wonky woman
that has worked her huge heart into a crayon.

Would the bus driver believe you a ticket, turn you
into a paper plane so he could let himself fly away.

Would we lie down on the settee one afternoon
and after we’d made love, I’d start doodling the idea
of someone else’s face onto the crease of your spine
and you’d be stained with lines to despise me for.

And how would I cope if a ghost from your past rode in
on her broom, threatened to fold you into an origami goose.

Would I have to rip your paper wings just to stop your
migration to a landscape you could soar happy through.

No. It’s safer I keep dreaming of those holes.

You must have so many punched into you now,
your whole life has transformed into a sieve.



Marcia Hindson’s work has appeared in The Interpreter’s House, Obsessed With Pipework, Tears In The Fence, Atrium, and others. She lives in a mining village in County Durham and this landscape is where many of her poems stem from.