On Leaving Springfield
after Rebecca Perry
The men in my life, for years now, sweetly predictable:
my zigzag-hem-of-a father, a blue-haired boy on milk cartons
true to me as jazz. My brother is using worms, but I use nothing.
The tranquillity of fishing outweighs the actual catching of fish.
I am music, science / there is a great safety in waiting / justice
/ here between siblings / animals and feelings, I am
infrequent momentary crushes on boys with soft haircuts
and piggybacks. I own a library card. I won’t be eight forever.
If anyone wants me I’ll be screaming saxophone,
blowing out the guts of this unbelonging. Springfield,
I want to save you, but remember your terrible fish.
Who wants to complain with me? No taverns, no tire fires,
though we are the tire fires. The one man worth our history
is a fraud pointing through heaven. The books,
the songs and the speeches can all be
Springfield. I am here, behind the overachieving
in the back of an orange people carrier.
My mother drives under the speed limit,
imagining me President.
EMILY HARRISON is a poet and writer from Swindon. Her pamphlet Grief Stitches (2022) is published by Makina Books. She lives and teaches in Hackney.