New Fear by Nick Mulgrew

POEM: New fear

A poem by Nick Mulgrew


mother believes
in sino-nasal cancer:
fraternal septum void,
resonant hall of bone.
line those polyps again:
give me a zipper spine of scar;
wash those recurring
terrors of sawteeth and resin.

mother believes
in demons still. catholic
hearts slow in unction,
forked women fear: in gardens
verdant in KwaZulu; in gardens
overgrown with delicious monsters and
earth: red, sanguine and ferrous with
petrichor; where the earth reeks of blood.

mother says this
is knowledge of the devil.
she says it in Glenwood in the church,
in its eternal facebrick and chapel
honeycomb; the stainglass, muggy with
air and alabaster; in which god – you
said – god was not the light:
god was the thing, you said

that was salvation, not deliverance;
no, you said, that wasn’t it
at all.

all of this is real, you said.

this air resounds with the chorus of hell.



One Comment

  1. Genna Gardini says:

    Love this.

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