Katie Noble

The world is a funeral, but it thinks it’s a party

Today, the weather is fine.
Bouncy clouds of sweet whipped cream,
a downpour of fruit scones, ripe strawberries
fresh for the picking.

(picking one by one,
looking for the juiciest victim,
the one with the reddest skin,
the one with the weakest lungs)

Neighbours line the streets
seeking distraction and a slice of sponge,
a glass of wine to wash down the news,
a pint of beer to toast the red white and blue

(blue are the bodies,
their lungs red, their faces
white, when it gets them)

The busy street reverberates
with laughter and Vera Lynn—
We will meet again!
Clap for our NHS!

(If you clap hard enough then
maybe you can drown it out,
the sound of coughing—of dying,
just for a minute)


Katie Noble is a writer and researcher from Essex. She is currently a first-gen doctoral
student in English at the University of Oxford, researching the mediation of women in
eighteenth-century ephemeral print & performance. You can follow her on Twitter
@kaatienoble.