Quiet woman I know your kind agitating for imagined spaces and the near flow of clever thoughts quiet woman used to bother me please, I would whisper the voice itself skittish ticks please - taut and simple quiet woman shot through the very heart of him quiet woman is fresh-landed making soft orbits face like baited lines quiet woman is so small so easy to pick up and carry into bed quiet woman bothered me into a taxi backfiring scream into pipe down love into shut up you’re making a quiet woman has perfect sentences and a knack for propagating shame her cuttings sharp gaps in the hills cuttings of flesh and blood I imagined at lengths how quiet woman’s grace might be disturbed the daydreams lingered on waiting for the 142 catching sight of her as she squats on the wet asphalt shitting herself
Hefted daughter, she said tracking mud follow but mind your sister’s broken jaw thrust lopsided into her clavicle, some of her bacon still clinging on never did watch where she was going daughter, stick to the echelon because the odds are stacked against you as a dry stone pile needing fixing daughter, mind you are tupped with stronger stuff, more mileage in these synapses also luckier remember, keep close in unison where the yolk is
The story of peat In the first age of naming stars, when the plough’s teeth were set to the earth, multiplying her miracles, a nymph lived alone in the forest. Her life was simple mischief: stealing bread, stealing lovers, stealing clothes from the riverbank where women waded and cleaned their hair. She drove everyone, including the gods, into such frenzies; crops wilted in the pounding sun, pigs swelled with disease and black blood leached out the eyes of the draught horse, now lame, now dead. The nymph’s seduction had led many astray. She called them to open fields, to woodlands, to the river where, who knows what happens in the secret reeds, that only rustle and sigh. She found the tender place in human hearts, where if she set her thumb they would burst, and break. She knew, for she practiced with rabbits. Before long, an ear of corn was cut and placed on a large stone as an offering. Hear us, it said, this nymph is our torture. The jealous gods eagerly bestowed their curses, revenge came easily to them. One morning, in glorious high summer as the nymph dozed the gods struck her. In an instant, her body lost its supple shape, began to rot, dripped, black and heavy, half decayed. Her matter damp. Her hair a tangle of sodden bracken. She tried to reach out but her fingers were formless. Once she realised what had happened to her she wept and became bog, became moor and carried with her the stink of anger. The people rejoiced and remained faithful. The animals eagerly took to the fields and the women were no longer afraid to bathe by the river. But trickery was in her nature, and it didn’t matter the body she inhabited. Some nights when, drunk with love and fearlessness, young couples would lose their way on the bog she would be there to catch them, to sink them into her forever.
My name is Eva Gerretsen and I currently write and work in Glasgow. I have written for The State of the Arts and sometimes publish zines as Snitch publishes.