Rachel Sills

Kitchen Couplets



pinked in by fowlers just plonked

in a vase anyhow


& over on a fly-leaf table of such

exquisite Morten-Harketry


there are peonies in a

state of droop


the buds represent of little mouths

unsullied by fists


or symbolise something more pouty

& raw can you feel


the closed cap of the cervix it is

like a soft light-switch  


the upholstery reeks it’s embedded

with quaint dust


the kind of powdered discharge left

too long on the cushions


where Pipit sate in a ladder-back

chair at some remove


at the home birth group

I sat like a severe egg


li’l leekies consomméd in bulbous fired pots

painted with naïf onions


slightly masculate in their thrusting

leaf-stems against speckle


this beefy pottery rips me up guy

esp when windfalls are put in


So. There is “jam” on the tablecloth now-then

& it’s homemade with a jelly bag & all


there being more to these jelliform semi-fluids

than a long luteal phase


like pastry-making at the advanced end

dipping a finger in to taste


it wrinkles at the setting point – the colder

the saucer the more the sauce are


teabags, bletting & blessings on your house

I have that striped door curtain too.


Two fertile/febrile frond-heads

baked in a pie


over by the butcher’s block I am

cabbaging my emotions


& at the centre is the heart which is super

sweet if left intact or lacerated


she is like to pickle it overnight in vinegar

which turns the veins purple


the pinny wraps round in little ruffles

& opens like flowering


send me rice from Kenya please for my stock

cupboards, for the pretty burlap bags


a brilliant life wrapped & cling-filmed

I have onions for eyeballs


(o my vision sliced like boiled eggs

on the sprung mandoline).


Slip a liner beneath that pear. It will

bruise to a shine


I give beneath finger pressure & these

peas won’t shuck themselves

Rachel Sills is the author of two chapbooks,Two Hundred Houses (Knives Forks and Spoons Press) and Endless/Nameless, co-written with Richard Barrett (Red Ceilings Press). Recent work has appeared in Blackbox Manifold, Shearsman Magazine and Datableed.  She is a co-organiser of the Manchester-based reading series, Peter Barlow's Cigarette.