When I walked my sister into a tree,
she came damned close to breaking her nose.
It’s true that I felt bad, but not too bad.
They say that I’m wrapped in original sin,
so I might as well enjoy some of it,
especially with having to confess –
entering that corner gothic tardis
with the panelling, the magician’s grille.
Most weeks at Our Lady Star of the Sea
confession day was straightforward, easy –
I’d hit my sister and eaten her sweets,
answered back or worn my posh shoes to school.
But once, before that highly-polished box,
when I told Sister Ferdinand that I’d
nothing to confess, I thought she’d be pleased –
her reaction was quite the opposite.
Don’t forgive me father, I haven’t sinned.
He didn’t believe me. I got four Hail Mary’s.
I’ve not been in a confessional since,
but I get the urge, passing photo booths.
I like to go in, sit, draw the curtain,
take a deep breath. With my absolution
I get to confess to my reflection,
leaning in towards the greasy mirror,
perfecting my smile, while my words are freed –
abracadabra under the curtain.
I asked the man who rented
the beach hut next to ours,
the word –
mum and nan didn’t know it.
It was in my comic,
and the man in the story was a f-i-e-n-d.
But the man who rented the beach hut
who came from somewhere called Lancashire,
he didn’t know the word either.
He said it was a mistake,
it should be f-r-i-e-n-d,
and I trusted him.
Circling the Spanish city,
no straight lines here,
save for the diamanté
linking each decoration –
a bow, a gleaming frog of a town,
a glitter stadium, a swirl of mountain.
Only the noise isn’t Christmassy,
a big hum, the occasional ping.
I look out of goggle-eye glass –
those grey regulation lenses.
Two passengers talk of water bills,
I think of my lover and London.
The lights yell come back, come back,
see what you’re missing, you’re missing.
It’s getting blacker.
Night, night, night calls like a siren.
Katrina Naomi is originally from Margate but has been living
in London for most of her adult life. She has poems in a range of magazines,
including The Interpreter’s House, Magma and Orbis.
Her favourite poets are Sharon Olds and Mark Doty.
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