Emptying the mermaid’s purse

Something is stuck in my craw: your favourite dish.

My love, I wish you’d withdraw your favourite dish.


Channels of blood run the deck; blades sever the flesh.

Look how skillfully they saw your favourite dish.


Butchered torpedoes, their fins are pushed overboard

like barrels of blanks; it’s gore, your favourite dish.


A tail, a predator, an apex of the tongue;

a cook, a waiter to pour your favourite dish.


You long to sink in bed with me, your well-fed bride.

Your breath is sharp; I abhor your favourite dish.


Silent, we drift over long-lines dripping with hooks

like mercury drops. I chaw your favourite dish.


A camera rolls at sea. I dream of redress.

I am not hungry, ignore your favourite dish.


Our bitter palace sails over poisoned mareel.

‘Lee–’ you beg for a bowl for your favourite dish.


(First published in The Ghazal Page, Issue 59, 2016.)


Was it one of those army guys

who hit a bullseye?

It had to happen to one of us.

A piece of string – how could we not notice

the firmness of your belly

pushing out your gymslip?

You carried our greatest fear

like a bulging file,

hid it under sloppy-joes.


Mother drove the huge Volvo,

slipped so far down behind the wheel,

you could hardly see her shame.

Miscalculation set you back

to second set in maths.

Paper circles fell like faux-

confetti where you’d punched a hole.

No morning-after pill.


New-build gated complexes sprang up.

No legal termination for your protea

bud; you came to term.

Hard koppie jutting from the velt.

Camel Lights, vodka and adoption papers.

At recess Daddy stalked the dorms,

hoping to find the Master.


(First published in Under the Radar, Issue 18, winter 2016.)