A tangled shroud
like Penelope
we weave/

Lips brush, tickle.  
Frayed threads entwine like

your desk.

Today, we shelter
our whispers,
keep mum the folded
limbs we harvest.  

Behind the jamb
we are alone,
safe from the
spider's web, but

we are sticky, all,

Bound in cocoons
until the smudge of her
neck in the
crook of your arm, and

regardless of what we pretend
there are footsteps already
in the sands of our skin.

Jane Flett is a philosopher, cellist, and creator of unusual fictions. She has read to acclaim and whooping in Berlin, Cambridge, the Edinburgh International Book Festival and Shakespeare and Co, and was recently awarded the Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award. Currently,  she is working on a collection of urban fairytales that exist somewhere between the glitter and the gutter. Find her at

It's sometimes hard to believe that Edinburgh is a capital city; it can feel like the smallest town.  I wrote this poem after getting myself into another of those situations I shouldn't really talk about but can't seem to resist.  You know the kind.  It's about the friends we sleep with, the secrets we keep, and the messy histories we lug around.  None of which, of course, matter at that drunken moment when the door is closed.



Copyright 2009