Monday 14 February 2022

Two Poems by Harris Coverley


Don’t You Want to Dance?


Young and sweet Conchita

Such a silly-wily girl

But a month away from her quinceañera


To go into the community hall

When no one was about

And steal a fresh pear

From the bowls of the ofrenda

Such insolence!


So was it any wonder

That He came

That avatar

Atop the table

Leaning over her in judgement


And as she stood there—

Her lips moistened with juice

Her eyes wide with terror

The part-gnawed pome dropping to the floor

With an indignant splat


He made his strange request:


Such a trespassing requires an atonement,

so pray take my hand…


He held out his white claw

His teeth at a grimace

For they had no other way of being


Conchita took the claw

Through a wall of fear

And he pulled her to the table


The world of the hall dissolved into the shadows

The ground flat and blue and solid


And with him leading

They danced


They danced a waltz that few of the living know of

And those living that do know it would prefer they did not


They twirled

And twisted

On and on and on…


Claw on hand

Claw on hip


And he whirled her away

Back to her reality


He was gone forever from the hall

She alone

No longer a girl

But now a woman

And in a far deeper way than you would think


Set to proudly wear for the rest of her mortal life

That streak of shining silver

Cutting through her sable hair


You Think You Have Problems?


sailing in sand

(with gritted teeth)

dry heads dry hearts dry stomachs

only to suddenly see a woman

with yellow skin

hair like raisins

fellating a daffodil just on the next hill

and the other daffodils are all lined up

(bloody and blue)

hanging their heads in shame and anger

they know what they are



I make a call from the callbox

and tell Mahmoud that it’s going

to be one of those nights again

and when I hang up

on the bottom of a passing jaw

I look into the sun

(brilliant light)

until I am blind

so I can know real truth

and cut through the sands

with a Diogenesic lantern

sour like petals


which does remind me:

did you mention me in your last letter?


it doesn’t matter if you did


or didn’t.

Harris Coverley has had verse published in Polu Texni, California Quarterly, Star*Line, Spectral Realms, Scifaikuest, Novel Noctule, Better Than Starbucks, Corvus Review, The Cannon's Mouth, Apocalypse Confidential, View From Atlantis, and many others. He lives in Manchester, England.

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