Malapropos, my slow mind & mouth

play cyclamen-chlamydia-Clytemnestra


like a musical scale. It embarrassed you

once when I only meant flowers,


only then meant something

of how things turn, on & against –


Tender is the morning

quiet, leaves gently


offering their shapes open

to small hands: hello. Here, gloss & flesh


sudden in the glass;

waves come through sails or sky;


the cat turns to gull or glimpse

of fox. The maiden a crone


like some plain punchline. I knew this

before I ever did.



Image: Gabrielle Ludlow / flickr 




Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate.

Jo Langdon’s second poetry collection, Glass Life, is recently published by Five Islands Press. Jo was awarded a 2018 Sozopol Fiction Seminars fellowship by the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation, Bulgaria. She was the inaugural winner of the Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction in 2013, and is currently an editor for Mascara Literary Review.

More by