ONE POEM – Claire Sosienski Smith

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Slug Town

Jenny says wish me luck 
and I tell her she’s indestructible. 
No one more stubborn than her, 
I will her to be too stubborn to catch 
what’s been going around. 

No windows in that basement kitchen, 
she spends all day thinking 
about fumes and flames. 

I extol the virtues of sharp knives to 
my mother, who is scared of the 
paring knife, won’t use it to make 
the pierogi. The potato goes 
soft in the microwave, 
the onion falls apart 
and fries itself. 

Miriam says there’s a poem 
in cleaning out a bedroom, 
lists these nouns in italics: 
wine-making kit, 
plastic sword.

I call off sick today myself, 
unsticking my body from the 9-5.
Soft reminder of staying home 
from school, allowed to eat
whatever I want, to watch
reruns of cartoons 
on the TV. 

I buy a cornetto 
and a lucozade from the 
corner shop, pockets
slick with money
heaved from work. 

They’ll let me go 
when they notice 
I’ve been phoning it in. 

I’ll leave behind a faint trail of slime
and all my spent second chances.

Claire Sosienski Smith is based in South East London and spends their time writing poetry, supporting their friends through shitty jobs, and trawling the Polish supermarket for the best frozen pierogi. They tweet @CLAIRESOS.

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