gee i like to think of dead it means nearer because deeper firmer since darker than little round water at one end of the well   it’s too cool to be crooked and it’s too firm to be hard but it’s sharp and thick and it loves,   every old thing falls in rosebugs and jackknives and kittens and pennies they all sit there looking at each other having the fastest time because they’ve never met before

dead’s more even than how many ways of sitting on your head your unnatural hair has in the morning

dead’s clever too like POF goes the alarm off and the little striker having the best time tickling away everybody’s brain so everybody just puts out their finger and they stuff the poor thing all full of fingers

dead has a smile like the nicest man you’ve never met who maybe winks at you in a streetcar and you pretend you don’t but really you do see and you are My how glad he winked and hope he’ll do it again

or if it talks about you somewhere behind your back it makes your neck feel pleasant and stoopid   and if dead says may i have this one and was never introduced you say Yes because you know you want it to dance with you and it wants to and it can dance and Whocares

dead’s fine like hands do you see that water flowerpots in windows but they live higher in their house than you so that’s all you see but you don’t want to

dead’s happy like the way underclothes All so differently solemn and inti and sitting on one string

dead never says my dear,Time for your musiclesson and you like music and to have somebody play who can but you know you never can and why have to?

dead’s nice like a dance where you danced simple hours and you take all your prickly-clothes off and squeeze-into-largeness without one word   and you lie still as anything   in largeness and this largeness begins to give you,the dance all over again and you,feel all again all over the way men you liked made you feel when they touched you(but that’s not all)because largeness tells you so you can feel what you made,men feel when, you touched,them

dead’s sorry like a thistlefluff-thing which goes landing away all by himself on somebody’s roof or something where who-ever-heard-of-growing and nobody expects you to anyway

dead says come with me he says(andwhyevernot)into the round well and see the kitten and the penny and the jackknife and the rosebug
and you say Sure you say   (like that)   sure i’ll come with you you say for i like kittens i do and jackknives i do and pennies i do and rosebugs i do

– e.e cummings


About handshedown

Keighley Perkins is a Cardiff-based poet whose influences include Anis Mojgani, Selima Hill and Richard Brautigan. Her work has previously been published in "Acumen", "Elbow Room", "Erbacce", "Fire", "Northwind" and "Obsessed with Pipework". She can also be found online on Twitter at @handshedown. View all posts by handshedown

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