Unrequited Thing

Isabel Galleymore responds to 'Pleasure is a Weapon' by Susie Green at Grand Union, Birmingham, 1 September - 18 November 

Unrequited Thing


If each length of cotton bondage rope
is a different type of sweet nothing,
if each steel hook connecting these lengths
can be conceived of as a pause,
perhaps it’s acceptable to employ
the slow burn of a sentence
and watch it cross the room 

in various states of undress
to where desire is. A long, pink breast,
a birthmarked leg.

Words find ‘a work of art’
used, idiomatically, to mean a woman
who wants to be seen. To some degree
it enacts that unrequited thing
and in so doing raises the question
of who is longing after who.
Technically speaking I’m after you.


Commissioned as part of Objects I Have Been - a reviews season in the ekphrastic mode

Isabel Galleymore was awarded an Eric Gregory Award in 2017. She lectures at the University of Birmingham