content note: death, grief
Grief has no honest feathers;
it blows up like a balloon,
covers my ribcage with paper mâché.
Cold, childish slop. When this carapace
hardens//my heart pops//knife-slit.
I’ll slither out of what I used to be,
too slick with grief to be contained.
The scraggy remnants of arteries
littered on the floor of a church hall.
Ashes//ashes//end to end
I sobbed on the grass, my heels sinking into
whoever lay under me. The water dribbling
down my cheeks is a soup-skin; no meat to
this dish, only broth for a winter burial and
stews//scones //oven heat
a kitchen etched in
oak and grey. A tree without a trunk.
Jolene in sepia. Cinder-eyed caimans
inhale under my fingernails. My jaws
on stricken prey, unsatisfied by the crunch.
She flows in me; grief-adjacent, carried
like a fallen branch. This anger will debouch
eventually, between slow-muddied beaks.
For now//I fast//on silence.
Watch Lindz read ‘crocodile’ here
Lindz McLeod’s short stories have been published by the Scotsman newspaper, the Scottish Book Trust, the Dundee Victoria & Albert Museum, and more. Her poetry has been published by Allegory Ridge, Prismatica, and more. Lindz is the competition secretary of the Edinburgh Writer’s Club.