• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 12
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Staying Home

The key for the Airbnb
is slid along a wire across a lake
by its owner, a ghost
as far as I am concerned,
to you, a reliable businessman.
We wait silently for the key to arrive
disagreeing on this
and everything else

I am seeing ghosts everywhere
some living and some dead.
I watch one of these ghosts take a boat out on this lake,
we are in the north of England
where the ghosts of women on ducking stools
splash at the sides of the water as spiny freshwater fish, coming up for air.
This ghost on a boat has to be rescued, selfish,
and goes on living for some time to come

The key is still not here
I tell you that women were ducked here as scolds on ducking stools,
in 1642,
into the lake, cool and withholding

This country, I say, is an unreliable narrator
you say nothing,
cupping your ear to listen
to the ghost with the Airbnb
shouting from his window
across the lake:
I have taken down a partition wall


Staying Home

You can’t get the labour these days
I did it myself
Once you’re here
You’ll see for yourself
All the terrible things
That I have done