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Poetry: Fiona Perry

“Poetry is a way of happening, a mouth…”—W.H. Auden

Postpartum, by Fiona Perry 

You are as naked as a shucked oyster

so, my breasts are slashed and raining pearls

for you, my suckling child. The universe

has too many doors. A terrifying flower 

unfurled overnight to tell me if they took 

you away or carted you off to die

like pink tender veal. I would be prepared 

to stand on my own mother’s shoulders

to push you back up to the surface, to stop 

you from drowning— and she would want that—

because she too must have discovered this feral

wisdom in the bloodied wake of birth. Everything

is unfastening around me, voluptuously, in ways 

I cannot understand yet. For now, I must be patient

occupy this hinterland and allow the stars to realign.

This poem is from Alchemy, (Turas Press). Fiona Perry was born and brought up in the north of Ireland but has lived in England, Australia, and New Zealand. Her short fiction has won first prize in the Bath Flash Fiction Award 2020 as well as second prize in the Over the Edge Fiction Slam 2021. Her poetry has been published internationally in publications such as Lighthouse, Skylight47, Spontaneity, and Other Terrain. She contributed poetry to the Label Lit project for National Poetry Day (Ireland) 2019. Follow her on Twitter: @Fionaperry17

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