Charlotte Kidd

Winter cage 

Hello belly, baby maker 
stretched across – to the end of my hips,
bio-oil slip
greasy belly so boring
to believe you consume time
not yet past the preoccupation with the physical
but blameless in your robbery
and beautiful to breathe into

i will strangle you in a sweet sweat wrap
wish you away with words and
burn-baby-burn sit ups,
think about feeding you
hot chocolate; a detailed snowman,
and watch him
melt away 
in a January cup of milk 


an ash cloud lingers in my throat,
it’s there. just as I finish –
nothing rids me of it
not a big gulp
of chalky water 
from my chilly’s

i go for the satsumas
an alternating sweet segment on a roster,
taking turns do their shift
in my mouth 
popping under the pressure 
of my tongue

I take an old strepsil from a lonely ramekin   
picking away at the skin that sunk into its jelly,
uprooting it from its five-year-friends
that it shared in that dark corner,
antihistamine & ibuprofen its only company
now uselessly sitting between gum and tooth,
its sugar burning my back molar

my hungry feet lick the concrete,
out of necessity 
get to the pebbles so they can
swallow the salt 
         as my trachea squeals for new air 

yes sir

he sits on the scaffold 
running his rough paint brush 
up the frame,
mummifying a collection of cat hairs
and looking at me.

it was early
and I was yet to tell him
our safe word was sparrow
but I could not speak 

so I wrote it on a post-it
and stuck it to the pane
to this,
he mouthed a word
which looked like freedom

with my face in the sun
i danced for him 
he opened the window
he climbed through.

he asked me to boil the kettle,
and leaned back
and burnt his flesh on the steam.

his red soft wound pulsed and 
whispered not to look
but my eyes were greedy 

Flights, Issue Seven, December 2022