‘Meeting you in the first place was great though’ A Poem by Rachael Allen

From Her Debut Collection Kingdomland

January 17, 2019  By Rachael Allen

I am the girl with chapped cheeks and blue bow
with my breasts taped down
dancing silently on my father’s lap
of course I wake with a start in the
new bedroom
painted blue
in a cacophonous pool of blood

the moon sways over me whitely
too quickly
bordered by trees
in the ghost town where I live

strange feelings overcame me when he left
like the cracking old image of a wave framing a lighthouse
like an octopus crawling on land

he was a god in his blood thirst
looking out of the window, a pre-ghost
I know the look of someone newly murdered
the moon’s trailing over me too quickly

outside the window, trees darkly mask the sky
the sky the thatched colour of jeans
evening coming down like hair snipped over shoulders
everything in place for our inflatable dinner party
we sat courteously as adults, haloed by stained glass

efforts to understand me were lost
like music reverberating under water or a hammock pinged at one end
my safe word couldn’t reach him with his head at my tail
spanking me pinkly into the crawl space
I wore rose gold rings to impress him
(she got there first)
this was outside my character


From Kingdomland. Used with permission of Faber & Faber. Copyright 2019 by Rachael Allen.

Rachael Allen
Rachael Allen
Rachael Allen’s first pamphlet of poems was published by Faber & Faber. She is the poetry editor for Granta magazine and coeditor of the poetry anthology series Clinic and the online journal Tender.

More Story
Lit Hub Daily: January 16, 2019 “I still believe that the best things a novel can do are through its minuteness, its parochialism.” Tessa Hadley...

Become a Lit Hub Supporting Member: Because Books Matter

For the past decade, Literary Hub has brought you the best of the book world for free—no paywall. But our future relies on you. In return for a donation, you’ll get an ad-free reading experience, exclusive editors’ picks, book giveaways, and our coveted Joan Didion Lit Hub tote bag. Most importantly, you’ll keep independent book coverage alive and thriving on the internet.