Image by Juliana Toro

Poetry Semi-Unintelligible

Isabel Galleymore


Restless with deserving, I’d bought myself
a kitten. Semi-unintelligible,
she was primed for fable. I could caption
her with anything. Though mostly what
I wanted was to dress her as a lion.

If you like this, then you’ll like that
ads frequently addressed me — and
I knew it to be true — my lungs
forever doting on this specific breath,
only to swiftly discard it for the next

and the next. What did I desire exactly?
I had no answer to the question
whether the costume would make her
more animal or more human.

Isabel Galleymore is the author of Significant Other. She is the Walter Jackson Bate fellow at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute 2022-23 and associate professor of creative writing at the University of Birmingham, U.K.