Melanie Branton – three poems


I wanted to be enveloped by manilla:
strong, secure,
large letter size, recyclable.
I wanted to be bubble-wrapped.

But I found only men who were
lightweight, tear-resistant,
single use only,
self-sealing or
would not bend.
Second class.

They got lost in the post
and, damaged in transit,
my life has remained

Kissing With Tongues

We love it, our little mongrel bastard,
spawned when Harold was shafted at Hastings.
A Norman bowman’s battle prick
burst the hymen of his eye,
spuming its load of Romance seed
into our Anglo-Saxon core.

Since then we’ve been kissing with tongues
with our inamorati, our fiancés, with the ombudsman,
at the rendezvous, in the bungalow, at the kindergarten,
for the paparazzi, for the pundits, for the hoi polloi.
We’ve sampled the smorgasbord and
that tutti-frutti macedoine
made our tastebuds sing.


I exchange polite formalities
with a man I’ve just met
and I notice he’s standing a little taller
and he’s started smoothing down his hair.

Our eyes meet
and it seems to me his pupils widen,
ink drops spreading through blotting paper.

I make discreet enquiries
and it turns out he’s got a girlfriend
(Of course he does. They always do.),

but I still want to thank him for
those few suspended seconds
of possibility

for the way I began to warm up
like a badly wired toaster
that had accidentally been plugged in,
giving off a fierce, but unstable heat
that could burn your house down,
but will probably just
cut out.

Melanie Branton shouts ineffectually at teenagers at an FE college as her day job. She has had poems accepted by journals including Ink, Sweat & Tears, The Interpreter’s House and Obsessed With Pipework. She was also the 2015 Bristol Hammer and Tongue regional slam champion. You can follow her blog at and her tweets @sapiencedowne


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