Body

by Tom Rowe

Body    lies on the bottom step. How did it get there? we ask. 
Body    is bloody. Hair matted. Nails dirty. 
Body    ’s hand falls near the light. We are glad
Body    has made no mess. Clean fall. No
Body    would notice. What should we do?
Body    says rug. Wrap me in rug. Rug was present some
Body    gave us. Your mum. I think. Once your own
Body    . Shut up says
Body    , wrap tighter. What next? Put me in car, says 
Body    . We are not 
Body    builders. You are 
Body    carriers
Body    is funny. To the skip? Re
Body    it.  No. Every
Body    would put it there. We have to think smart. We could disem
Body    it? I can still hear you says
Body    from rug. I don’t want to kill 
Body    you say. Do we have to? We ask 
Body    . No. I can be a home
Body    .
Body    is good at bringing frozen food in from the car. 
Body    entertains the kids with all the ways he can bend his 
Body    . Every
Body    says 
Body    is too pale. Deadly pale, your mum says. So we take
Body    on holiday. Abroad. We take 
Body    to the doctors to check he has his anti
Body    s. Pack a case with 
Body    boards and 
Body    suits and 
Body    itself. The case is too full to zip. 
Body    holds from the inside. When it comes across the carousel some
Body    has opened it. It is 
Body    less. We can’t tell the police, you say. 

Body    sends a parcel a month later. The busy
Body    from next door takes it because no
Body    is in. Inside is my wedding ring
            your dad’s watch
            the kids’ pocket money 
            and a card for a 
Body    guard. We weep on the doorstep.