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  You could have a big dipper   

Bad light by Mary Ford Neal

I’m in the mood to listen, and so he moves his head closer

to mine, and he’s an artist,

and he’s telling me that there’s no such thing

as bad light, and that robots can never

be artists, on account of the need for a soul, but he’s also

a poet, and he says that all poetry

is war poetry, and I’m certain

that a moment ago, he also said

that all desire is really mourning, so he must be

a philosopher too, and I’ll go along

with all of his generalisations, because I’ll never be held

to them, and because my body

is the Earth, rotating on its axis and travelling around the sun

at the same time, while my head is now

an attic, where only a few shafts of light cut in

around the shutters, picking out the scratches

and grease stains on the floorboards,

and I don’t care what he says,

this light is bad.


Mary Ford Neal is a writer and academic living and working in the West of Scotland. Her first collection, ‘Dawning’ (Indigo Dreams) was published in August 2021, and her poetry is widely published in magazines and anthologies. She is assistant editor of Nine Pens Press and ‘192’ magazine. Twitter: @maryfordneal

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