Claire Huxham ON THE COUCH

Watch the king for a few hours
and see the black dog come over him again.
May is now the cruellest month
and we still hear those cries floating at sea,
a bloody crèche lost in the flood.
It’s no wonder he has bad dreams,
embraced by a shadow with his own face.

Now the boy, he’s a nice little earner,
a chance to write a paper, make my name.
He strode down naked from a storm,
all summer rain and blue thunder,
a snake around his wrist eating its tail.
He says he’s got no origins
but I’ve got my suspicions and we all know
his mum’s a witch. He’s my little
Oedipus, my shrink-wrapped
wet dream. His fingers trace
my inkblots but he sees only
train-wrecks and crashed cars, road kill.
It’s true what they say –
biology is destiny and I know
my boy’s future is all mapped out
along the neurons and axons
in the landscape of his secret self.
What goes around comes round.
When I say mother, he waxes
elemental, all fire and flowers,
but when I say father, he just says


Claire Joanne Huxham lives in the UK, just outside Bristol, where she teaches English at a local college. She has work published or forthcoming in places like Metazen, Phantom Kangaroo, Necessary Fiction and Foundling Review. You can find out more here:

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