Leftover Casserole – Nina Parmenter

Leftover Casserole

As the schedule decreed, I had  
leftover casserole for lunch. 
I de-tubbed it sloppily and warmed it, 
smelling yesterday 
and the day before.

But even in the first greyish forkful,  
the paprika had deepened, 
the mushrooms had infused, 
the meat had relaxed and softened. 
My mouth thought it was all new.

When you came home, I kissed you,  
noticing that you were more peppery 
than when you left. 
Later, over goulash, you pulled a new face 
and I laughed.

Nina Parmenter has appeared in journals including Ink, Sweat & Tears, Snakeskin, Light, Better Than Starbucks and The Lyric. She was highly commended in the 2021 Geoff Stevens Memorial Prize, and is a Forward Prize nominee. She lives in Wiltshire. Twitter: @ninaparmenter Facebook: @parmenterpoetry Website: ninaparmenter.com

A Spell for Motherhood – Nina Parmenter

A Spell for Motherhood

Take a mountain. Scale the pink-arsed flanks of it,  
limb over limb. Find Poseidon. Extract from him a wave 
and a horse‚Äôs hoof. Pluck a tree; kill the grip of it 
by showing it your thoughts. Make your peace with the grave. 
Eat apples, all of them. Taste in them the sin 
of being a woman. Let that smack you in the gut, 
you deserve it. Straddle the equator. Suck up its spin, 
take it with you; feel your body snapping shut. 
Learn to count each breath as an act of sedition. 
Pull the lungs from a sleeping leopard. Be a speck. 
Be a planet. Be a long-dead apparition.  
Stuff a storm into your patch pocket, huge and wet, 
but tell no one. Invent two new ways of sucking  
a heart from a blown glass moon. Find a man. Fuck him.

Nina Parmenter has appeared in journals including Ink, Sweat & Tears, Snakeskin, Light, Better Than Starbucks and The Lyric. She was highly commended in the 2021 Geoff Stevens Memorial Prize, and is a Forward Prize nominee. She lives in Wiltshire. Twitter: @ninaparmenter Facebook: @parmenterpoetry Website: ninaparmenter.com