A Blithesome Step Forward


Dearest ankle

stuck like a prick between a shoe and a trouser

in a blue ribbed Marks & Spencer sock,

if it were not that I am only eyes incapable of being taken off you,

and you are tibia fibula talus robotics;

if I were a human

and you were too

I would lovingly spit, and destroy you.


Aren’t you sick

of being trapped in that blue sock

like a baby?

Don’t you buckle instead to be naked

and scathingly licked by a tongue with no recourse to thinking

to make it stop?


Is that clonic seizure flex on purpose?

The veins might try

to eak out their metre

but that sock, frankly, is skin tight

and you protrude so livid and

bonily pulsar.


How about this?


I’ve got a bunched up pair of keys at the ready and unless you convince me with solidly desperate humiliating passion, bannable under the new porn laws, that your mortice is so stable that a deity could be aborted in it and no one would kick up a fuss, I will stab them into you and hack you apart – below, from the deeply embarrassing neediness of your foot, and above, from the black dog of your calf, and I will henceforth cuddle the residual ligamentous stump of you into the heart-hand side of my bra.



the height of my insensitive impatience.

I know

an ankle

has no mouth to answer with

and inescapably

in any case

of course I am plagued

(who could not be?)

by terror —

that to force such a change on an ankle like that,

to render it lumpen

with no foot to,

with muscular purpose,

make me observe how,

for exercise purely,

it marches away so briskly,


(might it not?),

though turmoil persuades me violently otherwise,

make it look rather suddenly useless, drained of its animal blood?


I don’t buy that, obviously.

If worms, cut into pieces,

just get on with it with whatever’s left

and delight, even, who knows, in the breeze afforded their severed ends,



Plus, there is something to be said for refusing to relinquish

the torment of unprofitability.

I am more,

after all,

than arousingly a pair of peeled eyes and, with that,

daily I mourn in the riveted flesh for the items I know to be true:

that I


will never

tenderly hammer

the ankle dressed in blue

into my cheekbed

or grab it for fun in public

and chinese burn it over my knee.



By the laws

in short

which govern this ankle,

which this ankle,

motherfucking powertripper,

gagging to be king of everything,

itself stipulates,

I am caused

insomniac suffering.

The screaming skin between the sock and the trouser’s hem,

minutely exposed when the ankle is shifting position, is a thing

I will die

having never discovered the taste of, and, worse yet,

there is no permissible context for my thumb

without warning

to slip inside the sock’s elastic

and rub round the imprint left by it.


If I were to rearrange my pelvis,

let’s say,

to friction

my brown boot against the shoe below the

blue socked ankle I’m sick without

when one of us moves,

as an act of necessary transference,

I would be stuttered by the bluntness of their coarse soles,

and, knowing I had

so publicly

burned alive my only card,

I would make a show of just how I had said I would


and look back for the ankle not mine

and be mortified.