Unclasp your garlic gingerly
Place the pink-ribbed corset aside
If the nudity of the bulb offends
Opt for the soup or pâté alternative
Grip the clove’s belly like a pen
Rasp back and forth over the toast
Releasing its hot breath. Rub on
Until flesh shreds and fingers stick
Now select the paunchiest tomato
Slack as velvet and long on the vine
Squeeze the seed sack until it bursts
Mash over the crusted furrows
Gloss with green oil
Spray with a necklace of sea salt
Exchange for stars
From the night-eyed woman
Sitting opposite, bare footed
Repeat a thousand times
Through harvest years and fallow
Until the last unclasping

Shortlisted in the 2014 Wasafiri International New Writing Prize.

I live in a fragile house
Rain blisters the windows
Wind wolfs at the casements
Doors burst into their frames
Electricity surges like a wildcat
Scratching out filaments and fuses
Gas sleeps rough in Victorian corners
The boiler chokes and heaves like a keeled beast
With its burden trodden into the muddy road
Beside which we freeze, refugees from sleep
Awaiting the milkman’s sodding whistle
That at any other dawn would mean
Execution by a drunk firing squad
But today signals the all clear
Even if it’s Lloyd Webber
He twitters, a distant hit
From Cats or Les Mis

This first appeared on the blog Poetry Shed with thanks to poet Abegail Morley