Wednesday 20 October 2021

Kim Moore, "All the Men I Never Married"

Kim Moore’s pamphlet If We Could Speak Like Wolves was a winner in the 2011 Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition. Her first collection The Art of Falling (Seren 2015) won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. Her second collection All The Men I Never Married was published by Seren in 2021. Her first non-fiction book What The Trumpet Taught Me will be published by Smith/Doorstop in March 2022. Kim is originally from Leicester. Her website is here

About All the Men I Never Married

This eagerly awaited second collection of poems from Kim Moore is pointedly feminist, challenging and keenly aware of the contradictions and complexities of desire. The 48 numbered poems take us through a gallery of exes and significant others where we encounter rage, pain, guilt, and love.

From All the Men I Never Married, by Kim Moore

No. 32.

You lived there for a week, in a country
you will not give a name to, not because 
of what happened there, but because
you do not want this story to be changed
into a story of a country, you want it to be
the story of a man, or one-night-of-a-man, 
a story of a hotel, or maybe the story of a lift,
the faded carpet, mirrors on every wall, 
and his insistence, standing too close 
and smiling, both of you pretending 
you’re good friends, maybe this is the story 
of the corridor, how he asked you 
where your room was, and you, stupid,
stupid, said down there and even pointed
and maybe this translated to follow me
to the room with birds fluttering behind 
the walls, the room with birds living 
between the walls, the room of curtains, 
heavy, floor-length, blocking all the light, 
the corners where nobody cleaned, 
dust and the dead battery of a wasp, 
you said my room is down there and then
kept walking, put your key in the lock 
and he was right behind you, you felt
his breath on your neck so you turned
and put your hand on his chest
which may have looked like an invitation
except you were pushing, pushing him back,
who knows if you said no or if you said
I want to go to sleep or if you said both
but when you backed through the door
and slammed it closed, you remember it felt rude 
to shut a door like that, so close to his face,
your heart beating in your chest
as if you’d been running very fast,
you remember thinking you were lucky,
luck got you out of it again, you sank
to your knees in the room of the birds,
you told yourself it was nothing 
though it felt like something very bad
had almost happened, you swore
this would never happen to you 
in silence and stillness again.

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