Kirsty Logan, “Why I Want To Go North”
Author: Poetry Editor
October 14, 2010
This week, two new poems by Scottish writer Kirsty Logan.
I WANTED TO SAY THAT YOUR HANDS
ARE LIKE UNFURLING LEAVES
But I didn’t sleep well and my dreams were full of octopi
and mice eyes and dripping water and strings tightening on my wrists
and when I woke you were smiling like your mouth was full of chocolate buttons
and the late morning sun was haloing your hair golden but I knew my eyes were crusted.
I wanted to say that you looked sweeter than a slice of ginger cake
but you forgot to put sugar in my coffee and I forgot to take the recycling out
and neither of us wanted to wash the dog so we stared at our laptop screens and frowned
and pretended we were doing Very Important Things but only living things are important really.
I wanted to hold you tighter than a koala holds a eucalyptus branch
but you left the bathroom light on and didn’t want to go out for lunch
and like a child I was hungry and grumpy and wanted you to look at me
and I told you we weren’t working when really you’re the only thing that doesn’t need fixed.
I wanted to say that your hands are like unfurling leaves
so I waited until you fell asleep on the couch
and I lay on the floor next to you
and I pressed your palm to my lips.
WHY I WANT TO GO NORTH
we all want to go down
because nothing north can be good.
up here we’re always wet
and cold, and bare branches give no fruit.
we don’t look good in puddles
and no-one likes to fuck in drizzle.
going down means warmth. it means
sun turning our eyelashes gold. breakfasts
of fruit and the glint of coins. it means blue and white
and never grey, never shivers, never sighs, never too tired or old or bored or sad.
you’ll never have to drink tea again
and you’ll always be in the mood.
what’s north of here anyway?
icebergs and drafty huts, moose and geese and secret isolated labs.
no half-price mojitos consumed while costumed in hammocks
no girls going wild or boys with shiny chests.
nothing north can be good.
I like the sun.
I like to come.
But I prefer the way her cheeks go pink in the snow.
KIRSTY LOGAN is a writer, editor, teacher, book reviewer, teashop waitress, and general layabout. She is currently working on her first novel, Little Dead Boys, thanks to a grant from the Scottish Book Trust. She lives in Glasgow with her girlfriend. Get in touch at kirstylogan.com.