Issue 28: Wendy Kyle


I told them I was no dove. I rattled

                       my tongue

at their every flood – I told

them my sustenance

                       was no wafer –


would string and string

the road – my basophilic smear –


The lovely intricate drag

of my trace – my fats silvering.

They have been


too long. It’s not just the purge –

their flavourless, granulising

                       Meat –

they scavenged

the grease off the planet’s


You know, until now, I never needed

                       a heart

but even I – pitied

their marrowless hollows, before I tore

the last

                       apart –

I told them I was no dove.

No Fledgling

The downy on her arms quivers. Not weighted enough to drop.

The wind sees no layers for purpose.  It scoops her into circles.

She thinks she can take off into hard storms; forget her appetite

of ash and fog – float into mythic skies of every missed colour

and softness. No mother has ever fed her from her own throat.

She’s no fledgling – that’s long gone– her 9th birthday. Falling

should fit her well. After empty miles, bare miles, air spinning,

she knows she is her own hoax – at the bottom of Hunters’ Hill,

already a skinful of ghost, too empty to spill: This is not a body.

Floating Epistle: I

Mother, I know

you’ve had knife-tides

of death – in your body –


births – the girls.

You’ve felt hard-struck

pearls snatched

from the world –





I want to know

about the scraping out

of each inner knot. How

girls were unstrung –


to flatness 

by suns


behind lines –


shapes – intractable

My rage will not burn

like a son’s –

but it will shatter

all his unbeached



without reflection

Floating Epistle: II

Daughter, I know

your pearl is round. I see

your slit foams, witnessing


I seek

                horizons too –  

not the shrunken

pip in a cup...

not the decorous twisting


but no more

adamantine line –

supine, rudimentary.

I advise you to pivot

and arc. To act –

You are a woman. Never ask


In ages of geology,

men have killed

at the curve of our hip,

the egg of our death,

our milk –

We have lived

so tight in their yanked

lines – our swollen

cusp is voluminous –  

holding a surge

of engulfment.

Let the planet fill

with sea –

and they will float

to the surface.

Fathers and sons

are afraid to know –

but we

are the waves, the waves

are angry.

Wendy Kyle is a former English teacher, living in Scotland. Her work is in Mslexia, Poetry Salzburg Review; Interpreters House; Ink, Sweat & Tears; POEM: International English Language Quarterly; Acumen; Gutter; The Tangerine and forthcoming in anthroposcene.

She has been shortlisted and commended in many international prizes, including the National Poetry Competition, Mslexia Women’s Poetry Prize, the Bridport Prize, the Brotherton Prize, the Hippocrates Prize and the Oxford University Four Corners Poetry Award, among others. She has worked as Education Coordinator for StAnza International Poetry Festival, in part, delivering workshops in hybrid forms of poetry and art.

Copyright © 2022 by Wendy Kyle, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.