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It must be hard to be a table. To have no say where you’re placed or what’s placed on you.

                                      To have no say whether the sun is in your eyes or whether you might

                                                          be lonely. It must be hard to shoulder the responsibility of

                                                                 stillness when everything else is in chaos. Created to

                                                                             fill a gap or fulfil a need or slot into an existing

                                                                                    space. Just another piece of the furniture.

                                                                                          No one expects you to feel, or under-

                                                                                                   stand, no one expects you not to

                                                                                                     listen. You are always listening.

                                                                                                          No one expects you to want

                                                                                                           anything, to need anything,

                                                                                                             to be anything that means

                                                                                                                    anything. And, after a

                                                                                                                          while, you start to

                                                                                                                               fear they might

                                                                                                                                           be right.

Table

A Ritual

 

take the apple firmly in your palm

cupped like a child’s sleeping face

 

select the small knife from the kitchen drawer

and split the skin with its sharpness

 

let the cider-scented juices run down your wrist

gathering wetly in your woollen sleeves

 

anchor the blade with the pad of your thumb

and guide the metal through the soft pliant flesh

 

listen to the sweet squelch of rupture

the degloved fruit shedding its glossy pelt

 

throw the unbroken spiral of peel skywards

and read the letter of your lover in the fallen shape of it

 

do this as often as it takes

to secure the answers that you need

Leanne Moden is a poet from Nottingham in the UK. She’s performed her poetry at events across Britain and Europe, and she was a semi-finalist at the BBC Edinburgh Fringe Slam (2018). Leanne writes about womanhood and belonging, and her second pamphlet, Get Over Yourself, was published in 2020. leannemoden.com

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