Wild Court

An international poetry journal based in the English Department of King’s College London

A poem by Kim Moore

The below poem is from Kim Moore’s forthcoming book-length sequence All the Men I Never Married.


    All The Men I Never Married



Many years ago, I lived in a house in the woods.
The woodcutter visited on nights when the moon
hid itself behind the clouds.

Sometimes I go back to watch it happen again,
slip inside the body of the woodcutter,
to feel what it felt like to be him.

His arms and legs are heavier than mine.
The cigarettes on his heart, his lungs, his chest.
His finger to his lips, biting the nail to the quick.

I start to lose the border of where
his pain and mine begin and end.
I am in the body of the woodcutter.

But I am not the body of the woodcutter.
His body is a shallow dish and I’m a slick of water.
If I move too much, I’ll spill out and over.

What I’ve really come back for is me,
ten years younger. Through his eyes,
she looks small and pale, a wisp of smoke

he could walk right through. Her face
turned in. Her mouth shut tight.
She smells of flight and all the things

this body hates. But when he presses her
to the ground, she vanishes inside herself
and nobody can reach her.

His tongue spits words I’d never say, and yet
here I am, inside his body saying them.
I leave the body of the woodcutter.

I leave it all behind, her, the house, the trees.
I return to myself, begin again.

Many years ago, I lived in a house in the woods.