Susannah Dickey



remove the oboe and the joy would follow

after ‘Leander and Hero’, by Hannah Lash


it comes in a fur-lined case like a well-cared for recently
deceased firearm it has its own
screwdriver / smaller than a regular
screwdriver / children are always being given small versions
of regular things and asked to call them toys.
Get ready: you are now the mechanic
of something.
When an oboe gets blown it’s a chorus of the throat it’s a slow and ancient
courtship it’s a clown
car horn. An oboe makes debussy’s little
shepherd an asymptote it makes sloop john b a little doughy it makes its
player wet and undignified / low
C or high E flat is three UTIs at once this is because the oboe is a witch’s
finger a regular
person’s store bought ginger stem. The oboe takes you to the forefront
of an orchestra’s mind / it sighs goose loneliness.
The oboe wakes you with the clamminess of its
unplayedness / it puts you in spaces that need to be
filled but does not make you interesting. The oboe is not
enough to recuse you
from your decisions / it isn’t a baby or a glass eye / or a relative of some
historical interest. The oboe
[brought out]
[shown off]
is a collective gasp / it is dank breath held separate from the whistling
holes in Wabakimi Provincial Park / the uncontrollable
airs of the rest of the world



Susannah Dickey is studying for an MA in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths. Her poetry has appeared in Ambit, The White Review, The Tangerine, and Hotel. Her first pamphlet was published in 2017 by The Lifeboat.

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