Three poems by Therese Lloyd

4 January 2018

Therese Lloyd shares three new poems from her forthcoming collection The Facts, to be launched by Victoria University Press during Writers & Readers in Wellington in March.

Therese Lloyd is the 2018 Writer in Residence at Waikato University. The Facts (VUP) will be available in March 2018.

Funeral Playlist

There you go, leaving

to be at your father’s death bed,

a bit more life shaved off

each day you live.

I haven’t met him

and you drive


through the night

past the moon-supporting ocean

armoured up and frightened

of your fears

to be there

when he breathes his last.

In my confusion

and in your neediness

I kissed the black eye

I gave you

and I am not sorry

for your grief

and I will wear my best dress

Please note, I’d like

Into My Arms,

Here’s Where the Story Ends

and Avalon too, if there’s time.

The soft body of desire creeps like a bug over you

There are layers and levels

that must exist for the burying of matter

The strata of quiet and storm lapping

reads like new information to me

Terrified of all that I don’t know

yet it’s been lumped inside me

since the moment I was conceived

Where to next? I carried the oversized atlas

back to the Geology Department library—

no one there wanted it. It was outdated and too big to shelve

But the landmasses are still there, the countries still named

How does an atlas become unusable?

The classic quest narrative

set me on a voyage, a dumb, blind voyage

Desire for the invisible equals trouble every time

Our travel plans to Europe were crooked. You

knew it. I knew it. And the dog too

She shook the bone like it was attached

like it still had blood and flesh. She took the bone

and buried it half-arsed into the earth

Conquering flesh is easy. Close your eyes

now think of Columbus.

By Sunday

You refused the grapefruit

I carefully prepared

Serrated knife is best

less tearing, less waste

To sever the flesh from the sinew

the chambers where God grew this fruit

the home of the sun, that is

A delicate shimmer of sugar

and perfect grapefruit sized bowl

and you said, no, God, no

I deflated a little

and was surprised by that

What do we do when we serve?

Offer little things

as stand-ins for ourselves

All of us here

women standing to attention

knives and love in our hands


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