Keratin by Kyle Cooper


Once I got over the ex-lovers
Heaped at your foot –
All crumpled flesh and broken hearts,
Even those brightest smiles
And proudest stallions
Dying by the score to impress you –
I found I could see right through those walls
Like a glass mountain.

I killed lynx between us
Clawed hand over hand
To bring us closer.

Suddenly shrieks
And feathers and beaks
And the jealous eagle was on my back.
I cut off his feet,
Let his princely blood fall

And you were mine,
With talons in my hand,
Our first kiss was hard-mouthed
And predatory.

But the corpses below have woken,
Drinking blood, glass lying broken,
They begin their desperate climb again
And my skin feathers to keratin.


Kyle Cooper reads, writes, walks. He has recently completed a Masters in Literature and Modernity and has been scribbling for some years now. He has been published in The Cadaverine, Ink Sweat and Tears, and Brittle Star, and he reviews for Lunar Poetry.

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