Love Songs to Pig-Cupid

Written by Annabelle Cormack

We know these men. They would have us

Twisting, our insides scraped

Venison red, fallow-deer

Dead, dear fellows. Fathers, now. 

“Love Songs to Pig-Cupid,” read by Annabelle Cormack

Girlhood is a bloodsport 
Learned in playing fields
Yellowed by cricketsong, the secretions 
Of sycamores
Coagulate the tar. Will it hurt? Stripped down
To tickbite mottled shell-pink shame, down to my silly shoes
& the soft sore lock-click of breathing. 
They come in and leave
Something open in me, a terrible eye.
What quaint     overreactions !
Thin grey cuckoo spit stings the eye for but a second,
Pig-cupid, the sun shuts down on me, I am burned quite white
& it is over very quickly.


The same boys, men now, with their little lusts and lamentations.
So serene as they sit there, so effortlessly
Cunning.    Cocotte, 
We know these men. They would have us
Twisting, our insides scraped
Venison red, fallow-deer
Dead, dear fellows. Fathers, now. 


We are well-acquainted with the Scissor-man:
The stairway, the door-knocker, the six
Needlewomen in pinstripe dresses, corn dolly stitch-eye
And woollen hair. 
One girl bore a baby straight into the canary grass behind the gym hall
Class-of-2013 pluot, blood-clot, chanterelle
These elegant consummations, rot.
Aunts with dark eyeglasses conspire in undertones.
I am just a small girl and vulgar. I will not survive
It (The usual adorations and dotes)
The steps go on forever and they are white. 
We go, quietly. As things go.


Things go and fathers come back
To stone our wicked mouths, mothers
Wait behind doors with hatchets to kill
Pig-cupid. You remember him like a rash:
Skin rolled up & up like canvas, drains 
Clogged with our hair, saliva sassafras
Supermarket carrier bags in the throats of rotting girls. 

Pig-cupid: my first love rests the tip of his daddy’s laguiole hunting knife
Against my eye and it is almost 
Ecstasy. A male friend, well-meaning, reduces me to raw parts please
Forgive me, pig-cupid, fathers push mothers down the stairs
Over unmatched socks. 


We open inside ourselves one paperthin escape:
Masturbatory – I jest.
Even that now bores me to tears. 
The way out is this: to have been bright and wanted and to be those things
No longer. Unfond fingers pluck out the eye
They opened in me, cauterise and subtract,
these so-called divine things (soft pink calyx/
Cataract/muse) (the usual adorations and dotes)
Take it as a blessing, hagstone, wishbone. Crone. 
They have ripped out my spine/No/They have let me
Live, drab and sexless
Fatherless, and free. 


And what if I bear a daughter into the canary grass
With Grandma Lilian’s rosebud mouth? What then?
What will we tell her, pig-cupid? The same?
That we are blighted with these bodies that hinge
Themselves open like houses, on and on
Until we are repossessed? That we must tread the road
To white annihilation, these endless steps to
Unbecoming? (the stairway, the door-knocker, the six) 
That fathers will come, proud, 
Write poems perhaps (divine feminine/flesh
Of my flesh) and soon forget. The steps go on
Forever and they are white. Fatherhood folds away
Neatly, infinitely reductive, readily
Forgiven: the eye opens, and love shrinks
to the size of a spermatozoa. 

(We go, quietly. As things go.)

Check out this poem, and more of Annabelle’s work, in print in Serpentine Vol. 3

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