Claire HM


He crashes into the canal path one night in 
November and reclines in noodle wrappers and 

broken bottles, one deck shoe peeks through the  
browning cocksfoot as the idle consider 

his snapped neck. 
It points to a curved wing, the waning 

blade of a beak, his body rotting beneath 
dull feathers. Above his neck the questions form. 

I stand with my blue skull  
scarf fluttering, remembering hands as they crept  

under my dress, creeping up, up and I stare 
past this old carcass as the memory creeps 

until my gold ring catches his beak  
and two worlds start to glint, glint in the sun. 

Songs of Flesh 

I smell tight and clean 
the brackish tang of raindrops 
damp prayer at dawn. 


You are lions breath 
blaze of sun beating muscle 
hot wind rasping sand. 


After the rasping 
juice soaks through the leather fronds. 
New mint. Petrichor. 


Singed lashes flutter 
hair feathers over belly 
birdsong at sunset. 


Slurp of blistering tongues 
our bodies gibber and cuff 
chord of the full moon. 

Kajal Stick and Powder 

Unfaithful is not the moment 
I lean in to kiss him 
in a room thick with burning 

cigarettes and black sky, 
in a room swirling with metal 
guitar and red lights 

that turn the plump blonde 
body, pink.  
That was faithlessness. Lurching 

mouth leading,  
bearing my teeth. No,  
thats not unfaithful. 

Unfaithful starts on the 
grey bus home, 
my first hangover 

my rounded image 
pale and red eyed 
in the mirror of the unseen 

drivers periscope, 
my trembling hand  
in the make up bag,  

fumbling to project  
the right image, easier 
than facing my ugliness 

in someone else’s eye.

Claire HM writes as an act of healing that is an invitation for others to create the stories they need to access healing too. 
In 2019 she had an essay published in the anthology, I Wrote it Anyway, about her experience of accessing university, and the long journey of finding the confidence to write as a woman from a working class background. How to Bring Him Back, her debut novella set in the seedier side of 90s Birmingham, is a story framed by a spell to let go of the past and will be published by Fly on the Wall press in October 2021. A short series of Brummie monologue poems giving voice to Classical female literary characters are upcoming in Tears in the Fence.
She has most recently been published in Black Flowers Literary Journal, streetcake, Mooky Chick, CapeMagazine and Nymphs.
( / IG and Twitter: @clairehmwriter)

Flights. Issue One, June 2021