COUP DE GRÂCE
In the end his body puked him out
as if it were only a stomach
and a mouth. It didn’t let him
just slip away.
But maybe it matters less than we think.
Look at his mother. There she is. No longer
tearing at the meat of what remains,
but opening the window.
The night is there.
What can you do but make a simple gesture
that might mean anything. Hand on chest.
Fingertips on lips. Or just stand
however gravity wants you to.
a skin boat.
No prayers are heard.
If you lean out a little, you’ll see it too.
The night. The moon.
The overflowing eye of a fish
RADKA THEA OTIPKOVA studied English as a second language at the University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic, where she also started her teaching career. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in B O D Y, The North, and Tears in the Fence. She is a Wordsworth Fund Competition nominee, her collection was shortlisted in the 2016/17 Poetry Business International Book and Pamphlet Competition and her poem “Coup de Grâce” was shortlisted in the 2017 Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition.
Read more by Radka Thea Otipkova:
A poem in B O D Y