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Spring 2022

peter scalpello

Kale Chesney.png

eight days

                                      Returning to my mother’s home
                          I discover she already knows
               I am a faggot since she overheard
                           someone say it on the bus with evidence
                 that I didn’t want to sleep
      with a sex worker in Amsterdam

      The same route
                 by stout river where from
                             the window of a sports car shouts
                  POOF! and to my left a man
                                         sings IRA into tobacco tins

                                                  Where the days spent coming
                                      down in bed could make up
                          the years between us and I am sick
                                     up things I didn’t even know
               were inside me


       Everybody at the pub is talking
                about their childhood and I have
                           to go it’s like being back
                in the P.E. changing room except
                                      we’re all adults and the world
                     is burning

                                      I am this person again
                          incompatible with another for
              suppressing the same potential
                         and confronted with it anew
                 at the culmination of a
     stranger’s afterparty


     I have realised in reverse
                that she and I both
                            were sad and confused at the same
                time just hadn’t clocked
                                       our act of blurring from
                         and for each other

                                                That I took a loan
                                   out on myself so that
                       when the dust is swept
                                  away the broom is put back
               in the closet

PETER SCALPELLO is a queer poet and sexual health therapist from Glasgow. Their work has appeared in Five Dials, fourteen poems, Granta, Gutter, and harana poetry, among other publications. Their first collection of poetry, Limbic, is published by Cipher Press. TWITTER

KALE CHESNEY is a queer photographer and designer living in Portland, Oregon. A visual storyteller, they received a BA from University of Santa Cruz in Printmaking and Photography. They grew up in the country, collect cameras, and avoid cilantro at all cost. WebsiteInstagram.


(Image credit: 4 pm - some years ago, 35mm Kale Chesney, by kind permission of the artist.)


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