By Roma Havers

The Hunger-Striker
 
My punctured voice is trying, trying,
whistling something tired,
rubber-like and spinning on itself.
 
Near-whispers run like children,
trundling two carts of books before them,
the pages tumble over and I swallow;
 
I’ll let them wallow in my throat,
dipping their heads under and blowing
bubbles to sooth new scriptures,
 
to find that hole in the rubber where
my tongue is leaking remedies
for sew together teeth,
 
I’ll write maps for the rip in my lips,
so you can tell where I’m from by the way it twitches,
from what colour my blood turns when the sun is on it.
 

The Hoopoe Bird
 
My wings are making light in your eyes,
while you make light your body.
 
I’m eating rust in solidarity,
so you’ll have bite-marks in your bars,
I’d peck solace into your bones,
if I thought indentations made the difference.
 
I want to make your missing parts stand out in the dark,
make the light that his door let in mark ribbons on your body.
 
I want you to know that if I could
fill my bones with your history
and give you my hollow ones,
I would never fly again.
 
Until then, I’ll drip-feed you rust so you can remember what blood tastes like.