There’s Always Someone Messier – Olivia Tuck

There’s Always Someone Messier

Her anger caused an avalanche in the centre of Bath
and all the zopiclone in this hemisphere wouldn’t let her sleep
and the spell of her name makes psychiatric nurses scream
and there’s a ward in the Priory
just for her exes
and she flickers in agony
when the boy next door chops turnips
and she binges-and-purges
as often as she smokes
and her debt is deeper than a catacomb
and her Smirnoff tears burn throats
and the heat from her cuts melts tungsten
and last week she kicked off when an old man was sleeping
in the corner bed in the A&E observation ward
because that’s her bed
and she never knows how she’s got home when the search lights
of morning smack her in the face, like Betelgeuse dying,
and the bonfire in her back garden is stoked
with letters, negligee, bridges, bridges, bridges
and her parents buried themselves under the patio
and the poltergeist in the attic avoids her
and the Devil spends Friday night on her sofa,
watching Breaking Bad and painting her naked
thighs with tracings of pomegranate seeds
and her baby is a haunted doll: chipped,
with lunar eclipse eyes, unblinking,
when she leaves it – as she was left –
cold, in the sink.


Olivia Tuck’s work has been published on Amaryllis, in Three Drops from a Cauldron and in Lighthouse. She is due to start at Bath Spa University this autumn, to study for a BA in Creative Writing. Find her on Twitter: @livtuckwrites

3 thoughts on “There’s Always Someone Messier – Olivia Tuck

  1. I love this! The imagery is just amazing. I can really relate to the Smirnoff burn! It makes me feel ok to be messed up and vulnerable, as we all are, sometimes. I am reminded of Paloma Faith’s song, Black and Blue, but much darker!

    Liked by 1 person

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