the herb garret

Kate Hargreaves

in pelting sop-footed rain on the South Bank
                                                      belly warm with jackfruit & espresso
I held the rope railing & climbed stairs that were ladders
to bundles of crisp nettle & ground poppyheads
hanging over glass cases of forceps & rusty urethral sounds
dusty stuffed caimans 
& floors creaking despite sawdust under boards
                                           to soak up all the blood 

that must the nose remembers
returns as I trim & bundle the last of the lavender
knee straining against titanium & October damp
tie with rough twine to tug myself back to that garret
choose a suitably mouldy rafter
unencumbered with wires or bits of bikes
& wait for the luck to dry

Kate Hargreaves is the author of the poetry books tend (Bookhug, forthcoming Oct. 2022) and Leak (Bookhug 2014) as well as Jammer Star (Orca, 2019), a novel for young readers, and the short prose collection Talking Derby (Black Moss, 2014). She lives and works in Windsor, Ontario. Find her writing and work as a book designer at