Amy Acre




dear lord, fix my broken vagina that I may climb the tree of longing and find myself in its branches, feet tucked under knees, pleated skirt and no pants. dear lord, let the freckles on my husband’s arm tickle not my heart but lower, let the music of my cunt sing like the hot tap or the vibrato of the throat attached to rash hands dripping with their own enemy. dear lord, make porn better, or good porn cheaper, or just make me richer. let the blonde on the tube platform bend again to tie her shoes when I’m alone. let my husband clean the bath or fix a fault in the pipes that I may find him on his knees, earth-greased arms holding the house up, behind him a perfect pout. dear lord, let our daughter not wake as I guide his face to my waistband. dear lord, please fix my broken vagina because I have so many tasks in the day and I need something. I have already changed the  sheets.  dear  lord,  I  am  tired  of  thinking  about  nuns or schoolgirls or rape, I want to live in his eyes, I want my body to strike, to strobe on the bed with us and not slink, a smudge on the wallpaper or draft tweet. I am scared that I’ve politicised touch to the point where I’ve cancelled my own desire and I am tired, I am just so fucking tired all the time. dear lord, I used to have an awesome vagina. it got everything right and made friends easily. dear lord, since leaving home I have belonged to twenty-one houses. if you leave skin everywhere I must be paper by now. dear lord, it’s me at fourteen, held by hands I recall more clearly now there is a smaller me running through the house. dear lord, when he holds me close I am butter from the fridge, sticking to rip and impossibly stiff but I remember what it feels like to melt, I know, I am in here somewhere.





you know it’s love
rousing you to snap
that creature’s neck

After Toni Morrison

“Anything dead coming back to life hurts”

you can think as you like
but come down jesus
you see a sparrow with one wing
swinging open as saloon doors
guts chewed out its stomach
you know it’s love
flying through your fingers
a thing you weren’t meant to feel

when home is a keeling cliff
you learn to love small and keep
your feet where you can see them

to live spare like food in a fever
spring bean here      chokecherry there
sleep sly on kindling
build a room in your mind and climb in
until whatever you can’t see happen
is nothing but weather

sometimes the zoetrope stops
in the wrong spot and the devil
gets you

they said love small
but they didn’t bet on my baby girl
if you ever caught a smile like a bit
of heaven on your tongue
if you ever swung a hammer
eyes flooding for the colicky foal
that’s how I loved her      and if
there’s nothing holy in that
what’s a resurrection for

a girl with rough hands showed me parchment
said this is carmine and the night
should have swallowed us
only we never learnt how to die

one daughter born a miracle
one lost      and come a miracle
both saved as it was written

it’s the three of us now
haunting bride white stairs
in this empty house       sometimes
I think we’ll never stop climbing
those stairs
there is a square at the top
where the light hits holy
when the mouth in the ceiling
spreads wide

it’s me and my girls now
no more teacher and nothing to save
just sweet hands in hair
sweet milk in the pan
slow breaths in the gloaming

top of lily white stairs my girl waits for me
in and out of life
loved rough as diamonds
my best thing
wet in my hands


Amy Acre is a poet and performer from London, and the editor of Bad Betty Press. Her pamphlets And They Are Covered in Gold Light (Bad Betty) and Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads (flipped eye) were each chosen as a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice. Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads was one of The Poetry School’s Books of 2015.

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