Cardboard Flutter-By

Tiny woolen heads of strange sad monsters crop up on my muffler,

asking to be picked at like a scab,

asking to be picked.

Teeth bite into skin to comb out the tangles from the hair;

the mouth moves around the words,

avakaya amma ammamma1

like a palm around rice.

The sparkle is thick and rough against my finger, it is on my face and hair,

I am a un-magical fairy with fairy dust all over her.

I peel the delicious Fevicol off my fingers

like beards from an orange.

The butterfly is cardboard and cold. And glitter.

It is the second week of a November which doesn’t know

anything about being a November.

It is soft, mouldy and mumbling,

and so much like May in being vague and forgetful.

Nobody remembers May or writes about May.

Nobody will write about this November.

Last November was a November to remember and revere.

It was a cruel, determined, demanding,

jaw bruising, gnawing


Last November was when

God came up like a fish and split into polyphonic overtones.

He took our souls and put it underwater

till they were metallic colours with matte finish.

He gave us fluorescent pink bubblegum bodies with pure synthetic souls,

and burnt edges to leave no loose ends.

My little cousin is a cardboard butterfly, all warm

and magical for her Fancy Dress Competition.

We are half-human and half-wet.

She is un-soaked and un-touched by


She is still human.

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