Channel by Mary Norton Gilonne

If it comes it will be with night.
Oil-slicked, lamped pools, rancid fear
rust deep. Soft-footed, crabbing up,
tarpaulin skin slit.

If it comes it will be flashed,
gut-cold, fleshed white, tight
with dread. Raw as boned sea air,
body shrunk, belly taut.

If it comes it will be unlit,
hungered, swallowed down
deep in dirty knots of yellow.
Crate-chinked, lathed with dark.

If it comes it will be tunnelled
port-side, rubber-black
stinking salted silence. Eyes
have never been in need of light as this.

Mare Nostrum by Mary Norton Gilonne

Shoe laces tie the dead tighter than life.
We raft on their skin , how can flesh float
when boats shatter, wood ,ribs and bone.
Hamid, swollen brother, hollow gourd,
the salted body of you drifts, whitens tears.
My hands are cups of waves and piss
and all the sky hangs grey as glass.
I never knew the baby’s name. Gaza, Syria.
Her eyes were closed, turtle, fish.

For what by Mary Norton Gilonne

Against not being missed,
she leans against the puzzle of him,
tries to be an essential completing piece
before he takes their scene apart
and boxes it darkly up.
Against not being missed,
she uneasily fits his chosen places,
plays with his toys and shares as taught,
learns not to cry at their brittle breakages,
agrees, what’s mine is yours.
Against not being missed,
she lays herself down in the daily column
and waits for his tick, folds herself in corners
ready to be found on tallied days when
she almost believes in love.