Neighbours


Yammering at my door, neighbours.
I let them in, dusting the shelf
unconsciously. Micha, Stefan, Paul,
Todor, Miroslav. They were shivering.
Their knuckles were teeth.

When we reached the woods,
they bundled me sideways, fetched
my right ear an unseen fist.
I saw Yelena. They opened us
awkwardly, like foreign lexicons.

Each was a dumb bludgeon.
They scrambled our clothes, jerking
their limbs like wounded dogs.
Micha, Stefan, Paul, Todor, Miroslav.
They broke me like a bottle.

I bloodied their heads with names
while they razed. They were calling
forgotten debts in, collecting.
They dumped me, their sweat still dry.
I have no more neighbours.

From the book Tony Blair reminds me of a budgie

In Bosnia, the rape of women became once again routine.