Fragments of her

Alycia Pirmohamed


I see the same image everywhere—

a woman alone somewhere in the woods

60 kilometres west of the city, wildflowers,

birch, evergreen slipping into her shadow,

dark heads, like those I am used to, glistening

with rain or bathwater or a slick auburn oil.

Tonight, I tell the story of the way her history

wound away from erudite mouths,

and how, abandoned, it sunk into the loam.

Or, at least I am making an attempt, tracing

lines across the syllables of a woman who

reappears like smoke at the edge of every

impossibility. And I am gentle, prying loose

the fibres of her dream, glucose and moss

flaking off its underside. I catalogue it all,

even those sounds half-hollow and so quiet

that I have to weave them with my own voice.

For example, I think I hear the rip and pull

of someone prising peel from starfruit,

a sweet and rattling friction, and gather the

elsewhere memory close to my skin.

I see it recur, this image, this woman,

in all the poems I harness into the world.

I beckon her from the margins and clean off the

groundwater still remnant on her imagination

until it becomes clear that the woods

are a placeholder for this duplication.


slick sounds tell the skin

rip into dream like this

hollow and see the woman

the clean image into loose example

the image

becomes an elsewhere groundwater

everywhere a weave margins

starfruit glucose reappears

i hear her mouths close

i am tracing rain away

the story into shadow

edge of auburn city into underside oil

same and rattling

all the sunk remnant poems

quiet birch to friction

still tonight i clear loam off

harness flaking wildflowers

memory that fibres

and with every prying peel

my duplication gentle until

heads gather

the kilometres prising from this

evergreen making her

syllables somewhere

smoke even in the woods

i beckon a glistening placeholder

i recur this image i am erudite

her alone half bathwater

pull this from her

woman pull woman gentle

i have that wound

imagination a dark history

catalogue all impossibility

used moss or voice

my sweet woods

image the abandoned world

her lines attempt

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