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Gretta's Body

from Dead Weight by Jon Hughes



Gretta’s Body

On the bridge, I see the light has changed.
Red scuds torn over the bay.
A distant window in the left-bank row
Hoards the failing sunlight glow.
There I go.

As I enter that block of flats,
A feline form brushes past—
Emaciated with a broken face,
Lingers there, hobbles away,
I go inside.

Go through these hallways blind-dark and cold,
Hear the sound of elevator doors.
Says going ‘up’, it feels like going ‘down’,
Let’s me off, I scramble around and find a door.

All I want now is to get back somehow...

Stairwell’s flooded with lurid light,
This time of evening much too bright.
A door stands open at the very top,
A shatter within. There I stop.
There I go.

Meet him standing in the sitting room.
He calls himself ‘Slow-Hand Luke’.
I see flicker in his hog-pin eyes
Thoughts of grace or homicide—
Who could know?

In one corner is a picture framed
Of Jesus Christ breathing flames.
In the other on the LCD,
Beggar children with broken teeth
Dance around.

All I want now is to get back somehow
When all I could do didn’t come back to you...

On the dresser stands a figurine
Of Gretta’s body, pale and clean.
She’s still wearing that selfsame dress:
Bloodied beige, torn at the chest.
Filthy rose.

Now I see, I see the light has changed.
Red sun burning over the bay.
A distant window in the left-bank row.
There I come. There I stop.
There I go.


from Dead Weight, released January 31, 2011


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Jon Hughes Ireland

American songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Jon Hughes, has been based in Ireland since 2005. He has shared a stage with Damien Jurado, She Keeps Bees, and the legendary singer-songwriter, Buddy Mondlock.

Hughes' latest collection of songs, "Sunshine Remorse", was released in January of 2019.
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