by SK Grout

The porch table, levelled with food,
waits for the afternoon sun to ripen,
and sweep us all outside. Last night’s
disagreements limp between us

and we cannot build a bridge over blood;
we know its thickness and its cost.
After the meal, we must still perform our lives
as large machines that lie obediently.

The avocado dip, the ham and cheese omelette,
the artichoke hearts like bombs at our table
and who can talk when there is no listening,
just words of absolute that mute us, that scatter

like the aftermath of a knife fight. Love
and the law sit at this table, but they will not
pass the butter. The afternoon creeps on
with the light of a calling ghost and somebody

makes the choice, perverts the course,
and begins their next sentence with the wall

SK Grout grew up in New Zealand, has lived in Germany and now splits her time as best she can between London and Auckland. She is the author of the micro chapbook “to be female is to be interrogated” (2018, the poetry annals). She holds a post-graduate degree in creative writing from City, University of London. She was commended in the 2019 Verve Poetry Festival prize. Her work also appears in Crannóg, Landfall, Rising Phoenix Press, Banshee Lit, Parentheses Journal, Barren Magazine and elsewhere. She tweets @indeskidge.