Nina Parmenter

Hansel and Gretel 

it is pretty much the same here
except the people have shells and metal teeth
and Americans pronounce it to-mah-to
and the trees sing and

        are you dropping breadcrumbs

I honestly wouldn’t have noticed 
except someone mentioned the zeppelins
and how Ed Sheeran is president
and Wednesday comes before Tuesday 
and friction makes us faster

so I ask you

are we the same people we were
when we turned down this path
because isn’t that all that matters 
a spider nods

but you 
you just drop breadcrumbs


News Witches

They can conjure a crisis 
from a look
and sticky tape, hang it 
on a headline, watch 
the stain 


All night, drawn 
by the glow 
of a screen, their fingers 
chatter on keyboards —
tiny teeth 

reaching for prey

By 7am,
grubby spreads lying 
at their sides,
they hang upside down 
in belfries


In Ireland, The Boys

gave us the chat in Casey’s 
played rap in unkempt caravans,
lounged in chefs’ trousers after their shifts
telling stories, safe
in a nest of our knitwear. 

After dark, we scaled cliffs together 
like baby lizards, egged
each other to strip and dip. 
They held our skins and we
grew into them. 

In England, the boys 
visited. But in the chafe 
of our terraced houses,
nothing seemed
to fit. 

Flights, Issue Seven, December 2022