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Burying Mark

The following is an extract from Intricate Rituals, a series of poems which ask 'if your boss was a toy, what would you do to it?'. The first poem in the series, 'Kissing my Boss', is available to read in From Glasgow to Saturn.

I drowned him and buried him in an unmarked shallow grave: a coward’s death. I blessed the soil. And I left a warning: this object is cursed. do not uncover!  

Sunday best is lilac and lightwash,  

like the shell of a handpainted easter egg  

the kind with a living yellow centre 

brush my lids with heaven’s baptism  

scrub my lips with carrot cake 

Handbag: holy water, salt, dagger, lotion, lighter, you. 


From where you’re sitting, I’m sure 

the things you do are reasonable, justified  

decisions to protect  

the business.  

Because where would we be without  

the business?  

the things I do are coarse and crazed –  

but, if you wanted, you could do other things,  

if you wanted, if they suited you. This is all there is for me.  

my only tools are petty spite thievery, crystals and words. 


Black crows soar against a blue sky and there are 

people in the park. Some of these people will be dead soon.  

‘Hi,’ a woman says, smartly passing. As if she knows  

what I’m thinking.  

When the barn is burning, maybe all we can do is  

set the horses free  


To business, then  

This is no job for fire, but for cool mercy  

drowning you in your cage  

extinguishing forever what was already charred.  

swift knife action cuts through sweet butter 

the tip of the blade enters the soil  

and it’s hard to dig, earth is blacker and stickier than I knew 

it’s hard to dig, but the world looks on 

the ice cream truck music, dog walking and children squealing world,  

soon I will blow out the candle and  

the ritual will be over 

but for now we dig. 


Damp shadows melt 

I knelt so long that my knees hurt 

black crows soar against a blue sky and there are 

people in the park. Some of these people will be dead soon.  

‘Hi,’ an old woman says, smiles.  

Some of these people will be dead soon, but not yet  

god, not yet.  

 
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