Love Bird

                           My bird since you left I have loved strangely
             I have been various
A man came                  There was something wrong with him
His eye whites shone like teacups                 He was not usual
I might have conjured him                            He took my hand
He kissed my hand, yes, okay                            Girl: he spoke
               Love cannot live by these laws         (he intoned this)
His stories were mostly warnings
                                        I am love’s crooked detour, he said
Look at me
       He had my face in his hands and I couldn’t not look
He pried my eyes open     I saw him changing               Lover:

Love was not one thing it took many shapes
                                                                                I mistook
its presence     I worshipped it sometimes     other times I ran
I called it names I starved it till my ribs were a grand birdcage
         Lover,
            Love was no bird


from Dear Boy (Faber, 2013), © Emily Berry 2013, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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1Picnic

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2Our Love Could Spoil Dinner

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3Letter to Husband

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4I Love NY

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5The Old Fuel

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6A Short Guide to Corseting

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7Sweet Arlene

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8The Incredible History of Patient M

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9Everything She Does is Not Her Fault

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10Nothing Sets My Heart Aflame

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11Shriek

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12The Tomato Salad

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13Devil Music

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14London Love Song

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15Love Bird

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16Arlene’s House

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17Zanzibar

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18Her Inheritance

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19The Numbers Game

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20The Descent

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21David

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22Bad New Government

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23Arlene and Esme

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24The Musculoskeletal Condition

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Books by Emily Berry