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POEM: Self-isolation by Tom Branfoot

Words by Tom Branfoot - @tombranfoot


Day One

we clean black mould

from the bathroom

& sing the delta blues

we arrange geraniums

regrow carrot tops &

plant sprouting garlic cloves

we make potato purée

& support local businesses

by ordering online


Day Two

we rearrange the bookshelf

by publishing house

& water the plants

we cancel upcoming plans

& feel catastrophic

answering the phone

we decide to get drunk

on tequila & red wine

then cry about coastal erosion


Day Three

we have become suspicious

of the repairman

& clean the fridge thoroughly

we never know the time

& piss in saucepans

whilst on conference calls

we cower at the sound

of passing cars

& growl at each other


Day Four

we have ran out of food

& eat briny chickpeas

out of the tin

we are constantly naked

& learn morse code

to say mean things

we have stopped recycling

& email zoos

calling them unethical


Day Five

we have read the classics

& started to write an epic

about bat gods

we call up airline companies

and apologise

for rude customers

we sleep on the lino floor

& listen to the neighbours

have hard sex


Day Six

we time each other in the toilet

& have secret stashes

of canned meat

we have become protective

over the sprouting garlic cloves

& given them all names

we watch Robbie Williams

livestream a concert

as the night sky darkens


Day Seven

we throw loft insulation

at each other for fun

& criticise the queen

we make bunting

with our old clothes

& think about sacrifice

we harvest the garlic

& headbutt each other

until one of us bleeds


Tom Branfoot's debut pamphlet 'Burnt Forests' will be published in May 2020 by Pariah Press.

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