The Devastation of Easter Island

I don’t know if you’ve ever
waited for someone to smile at you,
but if you have, you’ll know how I’m feeling now:
all the other smiles for all the other people
fall and melt
like snow from another age
forming rivers where beautiful women are walking
down avenues of trees into the sea;
but all I want
is for you to smile at me.

I don’t know if you’ve ever
wanted someone to stretch out their hand and touch you,
someone who’s been sitting beside you all afternoon
like an inhabited stone
and driving you mad;
or like a ceremonial stone fish-hook
you’re desperate, you’re praying, to be fished by –
but if you have
you’ll know how I’m feeling now.

You’re numb as hair,
as mute as cats,
as soft as lettuces,
as resolute and mysterious
as the cause of the devastation of Easter Island
where nothing remains except heads,
and a few long-legged chickens
that don’t mind drinking sea-water.

I don’t know if you’ve ever
done nothing all day but languish,
but if you have, you’ll know how I’m feeling now.

– Selima Hill

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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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