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Monday, September 16, 2019


by Freya Jackson

Three years on & Brexit
is still hypothetical, defined only
as itself, by itself. Brexit is Brexit.
It has been measured, weighed.

It is no heavier than
the glue on the back of a postage
stamp (and tastes like God save
us all) and it is no lighter than

the shield of Saint George,
built from jingoism & thin plastic
painted to look like bronze;
it is ungraspable: too like itself to hold.

This land inherits division
from itself. Brexit, Brexit, Brexit,
something is chanting in the street,
I am not sure who is speaking

or what they want from me.
Every day thousands of calls
gush into the home office, each
orison: all these years, I’ve been here,

lived here, pay taxes, have loved,
even the rain, isn’t that what home is:
the sound of your keys dropped in
the bowl by the door, I need to know,

how much more, please, hold,
please, hold, please, please,
listen—isn’t the definition of citizen
those who live inside the city?

Even the smog outside us is swollen
with conjecture. Doubt distorts
thought. Every time we attempt
to perceive the word

it loses some part of itself:
look at a thing often enough,
it loses definition, becomes
sharp toothed & meaningless.

Strip the bones off of a ghost
& you are left only with hot air.
Bodiless, it winds around us all—
certain only in its uncertainty.

Freya Jackson is a writer from Leeds. Her poetry has previously been published in places including Magma, Arc Magazine, The Cadaverine and The Interpreters House. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her graphic short story “Joy” in 2016. She is a winner of one of New Writing North’s New North Poets Awards for 2019.