Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

Metaphor as Privilege

by Jude Marr

home is a prison made of gingerbread: home is free-
falling through ice and fire to land among tangled
bedclothes: home is hearth-ash, a blanket of snow, a lit match

home is a shared ward in a private facility: home is a pillory
with pillows: home is where the hunt ends: a hat-stand
with a single hook: soft tissue or a hard sell

home is where your papers take you when necessary: home
is a mess of mixed intentions: less than
wanderlust, a place where caged hearts atrophy, or burst

but that’s the worst —

unless home’s a bomb shelter, shell-shocked, pocked as a riddled
corpse — unless home is dust from a busted door, a hide where the hunt
ends — unless home’s a hut three day’s walk from the well —

if home’s where your papers are hearth-ash: a passport
torn, page from page: a rape-stained mat, trash
and latrines: a muscle, hard-wired to silence —

then a sardine boat, rudderless → a marbled
mass of water, rock and rage → a ragged blanket
on a sun-strafed beach → littoral wait-and-see, dear refugee —

and still, our figures dance while your daylight fades.

First published in Black Napkin

Jude Marr teaches, and writes poetry, as protest. Their chapbook, Breakfast for the Birds (Finishing Line), was published in 2017. Follow Jude @JudeMarr1 and find more work at