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Nikki Dudley


(Found material from ‘Life before man’ by Margaret Atwood)


The head had been a troublemaker;

an evolutionary mistake, the doctor said.

She refuses to imagine what it looks like now.


In the room, someone is singing.

He feels his body sagging

on his spine / a little pin / in the heart;

naked, exposed –

without making any effort.


Though people are her field; she’s no judge.

He specialises in the classification

of teeth. He welcomed this smell once.

…Not too much, not yet.


They all disappeared through a door marked STAFF ONLY.

We thought you were one of us but now

we can tell

you aren’t.


(Found material from ‘One of us is lying’ by Karen M. McManus)


It’s possible I’m overthinking this.

I’m crying too hard to talk / probably should’ve

taken the flask away sooner…

I move to pick it up,




Miss you too.

It sounded like bullshit even then. I’m completely out of my depth here.

It doesn’t have to be so awkward,                you know?

Big jump in a short time.


“You’re the most likely to have gotten in with no ill intent.’

I want to tell him he’s got it all wrong.

Lines are drawn.

If I could gnaw my limb off to escape this situation, I would.


We’re in a weird limbo now.

She pauses, as though she’s waiting for me to continue…


I’d overconfessed.

Nikki Dudley's most recent collection is Hope Alt Delete (Knives, Forks and Spoons)

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