Behind closed doors by Bethany Rivers

(i.m. Pablo Neruda)


There’s another corpse in the cupboard, darling.

Do you want to know who it is this time, dear?

Just call the Cleaners in first thing.

Probably yet another Syrian refugee, I fear.


No, I really think you should come and have a look.

Another homeless person, or someone who couldn’t pay the rent?

But you may not want to read this one’s Death Book.

Don’t tell me: suicide, anorexia, another journalist of discontent?


No, no.  Nothing like that.  In fact, don’t worry, sweetheart.

I’ll call in the Cleaners right now, they’ll be here in a second.

Death needs to be taken in hand, learn to pay his debt.

Such litter: all these bodies and stories of the poverty stricken.


In the name of keeping your own heart safe, please don’t open…

‘And here am I, budding among the ruins, with only sorrow to bite on.’


Bethany Rivers’ debut pamphlet is due out later this year with Indigo Dreams Publishing.  She’s previously had poems published by Envoi, Cinnamon Press, Blithe Spirit, Bare Fiction, English Chicago Review, Ink Sweat & Tears, The Ofi Press, Three Drops from a Cauldron, Sarasvati, Offa’s Press and Fair Acre Press.  She runs poetry inspiration days throughout Wales, Shropshire and the

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