Hattie Gordon


On Rhode Island the door was loose
the paint pulled,
a place to slip behind.
She tried to feed herself to the walls

took wallpaper as a blanket
passed through gravestones
covered her face with hair
unbuttoned fabric down her chest.

Francesca couldn’t quite decide
if she wanted to stay or go,
and did the strangest thing.
She took a picture

to catch her disappearance.
Shed her dress
in Rome’s worn house
and watched herself do it

“It’s a matter of convenience,
I’m always available”

Squeezed between the cracks
into tired plaster,
her embodiment blurred.
The camera swallowed Francesca

or black and white trace made her real
legs whirling from a turn
waist length blonde trailing,
she left rooms that allowed her to sink.

“I miss Rome extra these days”

The click couldn’t keep her
the walls couldn’t hold her.
When the lens wasn’t looking
Lower East Side Manhattan let Francesca fall.


Hattie Gordon is a writer living in Brighton.
Her memoir The Cafe after the Pub after the Funeral is published by Continuum.