ONE POEM – Nora Selmani

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

after a catcall, i wonder

what it would be like to be a skeleton.

what would happen if each dermal layer melted into the air
& my red stop light flesh went with it
without so much as a snap, crackle or pop?

i suppose i would give people a fright

they wouldn’t be able to tell
whether i was a brunette with a big arse

or a even a woman at all!

just a gleaming ivory skull with an average coccyx
strutting around in my bare bones

i would get on the tube & be guaranteed a seat
& some extra space too as no one would sit next to me

there’d be nothing for strange men to pinch or ogle at
nothing to corner and there’d certainly be no upskirting
as there’d be no skirt to up or even any up the skirt to begin with

no, they would sit stupefied
mouths unhinged like tiny stupid snakes

i would laugh at them – my teeth
rattling loudly in the cavernous space of my mouth

no gums, tongue or vocal chords to soften the sound

they’d hear that rattle in their nightmares
hot air knocking against bone

i think i would like that
i think i would like it a lot.

Nora Selmani is Arts co-editor at Porridge and is currently studying for an MA in Comparative Literature at King’s College London. Her interests include gender, nation, diaspora, and food and she edits Porridge’s COMFORT FOODS segment. Her debut pamphlet ‘Portraits’ (2018) is available from Lumin. Her work has appeared in O GOCË, Dear Damsels, Sea Foam, and Vagabond City Lit, and other publications. She tweets @arbnoraselmani.

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