in galilee, some grey and dirty town
long forgot by parliament, where the air
stinks like rotting fish, like waters going stagnant,
everyone is plotting their escape
and you are no exception. jonah’s wayward kid,
hair in his face and holes in his hoodie sleeves,
trailing after some pretentious fucking nickname,
hanging on his every word.
all those freaks and weirdos, you among them,
loitering on the docks. seagulls, feral cats.
you scare the neighbourhood watch doing nothing.
and baptist’s saying something’s gotta give.
there’s more than this. and you make yourself believe him,
even if on your last day of school you walked out
from the exam hall onto your dad’s ancient, grubby trawler,
up to your elbows in muck and guts,
simon by your side muttering get your head outta the clouds.
grow the fuck up. and still you resist,
keep your hair long, drink three quid wine in the park at midnight,
waiting. always waiting
until that glorious afternoon the cloud cover breaks,
and baptist is the first in the water,
splashing, pouring it over your heads with childish glee.
a stranger slipping amongst you, unnoticed,
why don’t we just go? there’s no one stopping us.
just get on a bus and get gone -
met with sheepish mumbling. but you can’t bear it.
another day just like the last. the sun gone in for good.
take me. i’ll come. rising from your throat unbidden,
things can’t stay this way. i can’t stay this way.
and suddenly your dripping feet are flying down the road
and you are screaming at the top of your lungs
you gotta hear this. you’ve all gotta hear this.
Amy Kinsman (they/them) is a genderfluid poet and playwright from Manchester, England. As well as being founding editor of Riggwelter Press and associate editor of Three Drops From A Cauldron, they are also the host of a regular poety open mic. Their debut pamphlet & was joint winner of the Indigo Dreams Pamphlet Prize 2017.