Lydia Unsworth: Vague Desires to Set Up House

From inside the bedroom I choose when to appear. Baby says bye! as she closes the lid of the box, laughing, and ducks down within. The room inside the flat inside the block of flats inside the housing development is a protected space. The heart of the chokehold. The socks inside the sleeping bag inside the room inside the 

For example, I want to watch people going at it while I’m closed in the closet. I want ten mattresses piled high and then my body and ten quilts on top of that body. I want it to be so cold outside that I’m here with my three pairs of gloves and my scarf double-folded and only my nose out and held over a steaming hot drink. I want warm tame animals side-to-side with no space between. I want to hide under the table like a giant lay waiting for action. I want to call the doctor and say doctor, help and for the doctor to help and for that to be the end of the matter.  

Shock at the back of a throat like when my body hits the water’s surface and travels through it.

Lydia Unsworth

Lydia Unsworth has published two collections of poetry: Certain Manoeuvres (KFS Press, 2018) and Nostalgia for Bodies (2018 Erbacce Poetry Prize), and two pamphlets. Her latest pamphlet YIELD (KFS) and her debut novel Distant Hills (Atlatl Press) came out in 2020. Recent work can be found in Ambit, SPAM, Bath Magg, Blackbox Manifold, and The Interpreter’s House.

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