Waiting for Godot if Godot Showed Up

Lucy Howell's poetry of mourning is dark, playful, with a hint of superstition.

by Lucy Howell

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My mother thinks she sees a ghost in the supermarket.
She’s facing the loss of a home, a bottle of flesh, smiling
at the chaos of the compost. Her hands speak songs of
blackened hips, and she tells me “They have hidden the
body in the milk aisle.” A tall man with long, long hands
who is stacking the shelves with darkness, green eyes and sleep
tells her to be quiet. We go home and on the calendar I put
the words Ghost Sighting #1 in red letters. We don’t talk
about the incident for a year. Then at lunch, when a coldness
darts it way onto our coffee table.The feeling of dust stripping
the strands our falsely blonde hair, the feeling of half-multiplied
time controlling our shoulders, the feeling of frost fight becoming
all that we know. I don’t believe in the afterlife. The newspaper
reads the same page over and over again. Tax evasion, tax evasion;
All celebrities care about is swallowing spiders. I ask my mother,
who is wearing skin, did you see the ghost again? Four sugars later
her coffee sits untouched. She says she’s trying to tear the microwave
apart and swallow its electricity to feel stronger. I take the remaining
packets of sugar and spell the words survivor with my fingertips.

She just blows it away.


Lucy Howell | @_lucyhowell 

A northerner who is losing her accent but still has all her powers left from her milk teeth. Dances with left feet (and left hands). Wishes more people rolled down hills and wore yellow coloured coats on a regular basis. Dances between washing machines. Likes stories.