science magic

my parts

can change

my leggings

or knickers

from black

to streaks of peach


and sometimes i swear

the science

of pH


is a little more

like magic


christmas card

i was helping

a vietnamese girl

doing my nails

write a christmas card

to her boyfriend


when she entered


an old woman

with wide glasses


“speak english”

came the cold sneer of command

“you people”

she muttered

when asked to pick a colour

“i can’t understand you”

she answered

when she was asked

“how are you?”


she spoke

like these vietnamese women

were deaf


she spoke

down to them

as if they were dogs


but this girl

(the one i was writing the christmas card for)

she had laughter

that sounded like bubbles


and i knew

she’d be alright


but don’t you ever

tell me

that it’s

‘just how it was’

for that old woman


because it costs nothing

to be kind

it costs nothing


merry christmas

happy new year

let’s see each other soon


all its associated words


and all its associated words

like ‘natural’

have come to mean



something whole

something good

something like

a tadpole

or firewood


but where i live

nature is not nearly

as peaceful

as tranquil

as rhythmic

as she appears


on the contrary

when summer comes

she comes in waves

waves of heat

of humidity

of insects




the insects

come in a cloud

crawl under the door

into my light fixtures

to fall

into my soup

my tea

my clothes

my eyes


last night

lying in bed




the thunder roll

the lightning crack

the wind

shake my doors

my windows

my floors


frighten my dogs


under the bed

on all fours



the next morning

after little sleep

that a man died

from a lightning strike

that pets are missing

that whole trees

have come out of the ground


but this is not

a natural disaster


part of summer



when i see

the word


to mean


something whole

something good

like a tadpole

or firewood


i think of

the sweat

down my spine

listening to

the coming thunder

the drumming rain


and i take it

as warning